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    Dark before Dawn

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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 29th 2015, 1:51 am

    Author's Notes: Hello and welcome to what will likely be the most intense story in the Blaine Harlowe Saga.

    I know that over the past couple of years, his story has been all sorts of wonky. Whether it be constant shoe horning of new characters, or an unclear plot that is constantly changed. This story will be the game changer. No more redacts, no more shoe horns, no more confusing plot.

    Some backstory before we dwelve further into this story. If you haven't read it yet, the story: GoldenHeart Returns takes place after the events of Orion, and before this story. If you haven't read that yet, close this page down and read that first.

    I know the narrative behind it is strange and confusing, but without prior knowledge of what happened there, you will be confused with this story. Without spoiling anything about that other story, there will be some events that, obviously, should not exist within the timeline of this story. You'll know what I mean if you read it.

    Without further delay, our story continues.

    Prologue:

    June 30th, 2583
    New New Alexandria, Espoz, Reach


    "Settle down now children!" the Teacher tried to hush her students, as they bustled in their seats. "I know Summer vacation is only a few more hours away, but this final lesson is very important."

    Pacing back and forth in the front of the classroom, the young woman turned to her students, her arms gently placed behind the small of her back.

    "Does anyone here know who the man depicted in that statue is?" she asked, pointing out the window to her right, where a Spartan was displayed.

    "Isn't that the Guardian of Reach?" one of her brighter students quipped, raising his hands. "Spartan Blaine Harlowe?"

    "Very good." the teacher nodded. "Our lesson today will follow Mr. Harlowe's life, and teach you all some things about the UNSC's history. Many of you have learned about his time as a Captain, when he saved Reach, but not many people know of the events that followed."

    "What page do we turn to in our textbooks, ma'am?" one of the pre-teens asked.

    "There isn't a textbook." the teacher smiled. "Instead, I have a holo-log that will SHOW you everything... especially from Mr. Harlowe's perspective."

    Opening her hand, a small globe of blue light floated into the center of the room, as the teacher turned off the lights in the room, closing the blinds. With a flash of blue, the room became a giant 3D projector. The young teenagers stared in awe, as the scene unfolded before them.

    --------------------------------------

    July 23rd, 2559
    Two years after the attack on New Phoenix

    "Daddy?" the young girl asked, shuffling her feet.

    She sat on the floor, playing with a pair of sewn Grunt dolls her mother had crafted for her. Alongside them, was a lone, weathered rabbit doll, with stitches around it's neck. To her right was the massive, flawless metal desk that her father sat at.

    Running a hand through his salt and pepper colored hair, the man's icy blue eyes momentarily flickered from the tablet on his desk to the young girl in front of him. Smiling at his daughter, the man sighed for a second, as yet another notification blipped onto it's screen.

    "Just a moment, sweet heart." the man replied kindly, running his finger along the hologram that appeared. "Daddy's pretty busy right now."

    Ever since the events that took place between the UNSC Infinity and the Forerunner shield world; Requiem, things had gotten pretty busy for the soldier. A Forerunner military leader, the Ur-Didact, had risen from a millenia old slumber, and instantly declared war on all Humanity.

    Humanity suffered severe casualties, on numerous research stations, and even on their home turf; Earth. His friends in ONI had been working day and night since he tragedy to find out more about the Forerunner, and why he had done what he had. Of course, with such sustained losses, numerous families cried to the military for help.

    While he had rathered take the fight to the Forerunner and the Covenant Loyalists that had taken up arms with him, he was stuck behind this very desk, on board the Infinity, confirming or denying supply shipments. For the first time in a long time, he was bored, completely and utterly.

    "But... Fluffykins is hurt." Dawn frowned, pushing the old rabbit toy to the floor. "He needs Super Dad to rescue him."

    Her father chuckled at his daughter's innocent words, swiping his hand against the holograms again. Shaking his head, he placed the tablet down, and walked around the desk to the little tea party that was set up there.

    Hoisting the rabbit in his right hand, he gingerly lifted his seven year old daughter in the other.

    "Is that so?" he smiled, as his daughter wrapped her arms around his neck, firmly planting a kiss on his scruffy cheek.

    The past couple of years had not been kind on him either, while many people don't seem to recall the event, the man and two others helped him take down some strange... demon thing. That hadn't even been the worst of it, the terrible truth is that, he, along with the other two, were acolytes to an all powerful being.

    Separately, they were insanely powerful, especially when surrounded with reminders of the ones they loved. But combined, they could fix entire strands of time that had been altered. They were, in essence, destined to be the heroes of the Universe.

    That, however, didn't make them invincible. Wincing for a moment, he recalled the time Famine, a member of the Legion, had brutally killed the young girl in his arms. The emotions that coursed through his veins, the sheer anger he felt. He had become a Husk of his former self, and had shown no mercy to anyone in his way.

    He had frightened himself, and as a result, he made it his mission to spend as much time with his family as possible. Not only to keep those events from happening again, but for his own ease of mind.

    "You know Daddy's not much of a doctor." he chuckled. "That's Mom's job, remember?"

    "Mommy heals ouchies." his daughter shook her head. "Daddy heals hearts."

    The man smiled at his daughters words, as he handed the stuffed rabbit to his daughter. Just in time for a beautiful woman, around his age, to enter the room. Sauntering over to him, she stepped on her toes, planting a kiss on his lips momentarily. His wife quickly took their daughter out of his hands, hugging her tightly.

    "C'mon kiddo, Uncle Darryl's gonna visit with you for a while. Daddy and Mommy have to talk."

    "Fluffykins can stay and talk, he's good with people." the girl smiled, handing the rabbit to her dad.

    The girl's mother chuckled, before handing her daughter over to her half brother-in-law. When the man and their daughter cleared the room, the man and his wife hugged for yet another moment, the rabbit squeaking as it made contact.

    The man chortled, before placing the toy on his desk.

    "You're on lookout then, Private Fluff."

    Sitting in the desk, he picked up the tablet for a moment, as his wife pushed it back down.

    "Right, sorry." he shook his head. "Jesus Autumn, it's been two years now. Things aren't getting any better, either."

    "On that, we agree." Autumn frowned. "You'll want to see this Blaine."

    Pulling up an onyx black tablet, she swiped across the holograms for a second, before flicking it at his tablet. Blaine's tablet flickered for a moment as it received the encrypted file.

    "What is it?"

    "Blue-prints, and a list." Autumn nodded towards him to open it. "Something about your family."

    "What?!" Blaine barked, looking down at the tablet.

    Pressing a few buttons, he locked the door to his room, disabled the cameras, and initiated a full viewing of the data held within. The room around them darkened, as a multitude of holographic videos and images appeared around them.

    Standing, Blaine walked over towards one of them, where an unknown Marine stood. His arms were locked into a strange metal machine, which trailed down his back and down his legs. If Blaine didn't know any better, this was an exoskeleton. Beside this image, was the blueprints to said exoskeleton, and the logistics of it. Flicking the two aside to a personalized thumb drive, he pocketed it, before searching.

    "Autumn, what did you do?"

    "It's not what I did. It's what ONI is doing." Autumn shook her head. "Keep looking."

    Following her orders, Blaine found a video, where a Marine in distinct green camo sat on his knees before a crowd of people. Blood trickled down his forehead, his eyes cast down to the floor.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Centuries ago

    The Marine coughed, crimson liquid streaming down the sides of his mouth to the cold concrete beneath him. He wasn't sure the reasons exactly why he had been attacked, but he had been successful in saving his wife, and that's all that mattered to him anymore.

    "This court shall now come to order." a man in dress clothes sat above the Marine.

    Shaking his head, the Marine knew that the likelihood of his survival was slim. But he would play their game for a while, try and find an opening.

    "We, the Admiralty of the newly formed UNSC, will see to your charges, Lieutenant, for acts against the UEG and her government." the man continued, his voice unwavering.

    "You are accused of numerous charges of friendly fire, many of which have attributed to the death of your entire squad. Along with that, you are charged with espionage, and general anarchy against the UNSC and the UEG."

    "I-I didn't do any of that." the Marine coughed. "For fuck's sake. I took out the terrorists so the UEG didn't have enemies to fight. You want someone to blame? Blame Edward DeWinter! He's the backstabbing cocksucker that shot those men!"

    "Yet you did nothing to stop him." the man replied.

    "Hard to stop someone when you're knocked fucking unconscious." the Marine growled. "Sir. Besides, what acts of espionage am I charged with? I shoot people, I don't gather intel!"

    "We know that's a lie, we know you offered Abdul Muhammed with intel against the UNSC."

    "No, I offered him the chance to have a free trial!" the soldier scoffed. "He may have been a terrorist leader, but he lost his son for christ's sake. He has just as much rights to a fair trial as anyone else!"

    "This court refuses to believe a word you say, Lieutenant." the man's eyes flickered red for a moment. "Angus Harlowe, you are hereby ordered to immediate execution, for acts of treason against the people you once fought for. May God have mercy on your soul."

    In front of him, his once best friend, turned hated rival stepped forward, a grin on his face.

    "Ian." the Marine growled.

    "Morgan." Ian grinned. "It's Edward now, remember? Just like you're Angus... although... not for long."

    "You bastard!" Morgan growled, as Edward raised his pistol to Morgan's head. "I'll kill you!"

    "No you won't." 'Edward' grinned. "Once I'm done here, I'm searching for that bitch wife of yours, then you two can be together in the deepest pits of hell, where you belong. So long... friend."

    "Bugger o-"
    -------------------------------------------------------

    Blaine paused the video there, the Marine on the floor, Morgan/Angus, had looked just like his own father. Shaking his head in confusion, he read the file beside it. Nodding, he began to understand. Angus Harlowe, the man depicted in the video, was Blaine's grandfather. The name Morgan was passed to Blaine's father, as a sign of respect from his Grandmother.

    Clenching his fists, he wasn't sure what to believe, had Angus been an early insurrectionist, like the court suggested? Or was he a scapegoat, and it had been Edward who had done those acts? Remembering the search for Darryl's adoptive father years back, he realized that Edward had betrayed his grandfather.

    "Why did you show me this?" Blaine asked. "I mean, it's nice to know my grandfather died peacefully, like every other fucking Harlowe."

    "Something happened at the Office today, Blaine." Autumn shook nervously. "Director Osmin approached me with this directly... before she..."

    "What?" Blaine turned.

    "She was assassinated, shortly after passing this on to me." Autumn stared at the wall blankly, her facade completely diminished. "That's not all I wanted to show you, though. Look at that file there."

    Pointing to a folder's hologram, it opened instantly, several hundred pictures spilling out into the room's airspace. Each one showed a different person, most of them children, though a select handful were adults. The majority of them, almost all of them children, with a few of the adults, had massive red 'X's through them.

    Stepping through them all, a chill ran down Blaine's spine as he recognized the majority of them. Stopping after the first hundred, his fists clenched. There was no mistaking it, these images all had one thing in common.

    They were Spartan II's.[/quote]


    Last edited by Shad0wChas3r on April 1st 2015, 5:36 pm; edited 2 times in total


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 29th 2015, 6:36 pm

    "Did anyone see you leave?" Blaine asked, turning towards Autumn.

    "It's ONI, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't see me taking a bathroom break this morning." Autumn shuddered. "Serin was among those in the image."

    "I know." Blaine's fists clenched, as he stared at the image in front of him.

    In front of the elderly Spartan was the beaming smile of a man who thought he had it all, a family, a career, and a legacy behind him. Blaine was, of course, looking at his dossier. The word 'Pending' was printed on the image in orange text. Two places beside his image, he saw the pale skinned man with sad blue eyes, battle scars riddling his face.

    As with Blaine, John-117's face offered the text 'Pending', as did Darryl, whose image sat between the two of them. Searching the area, Blaine was curious about a select pair of Spartan IIs. Gritting his teeth, he shook his head as he met with Butch's angry picture.

    Resolved

    He remembered the battle he had had with Butch, along with Drake and Bryce. Butch had come back from what Blaine had originally thought was their final encounter. Using the Fist of Sparta, however, he had erased Butch from existence, or so he thought.

    Considering Goldenheart held the power to correct timelines, Blaine figured that Butch's death wasn't supposed to occur in that moment, and when they beat the demon Farius, Butch came back from death, as Jorge had done.

    "Isn't that?"

    "Butch. My archnemesis." Blaine shook his head. "Besides the other rogue Spartan, Butch is listed as one of the few 'Resolved' Spartans. Everyone else is 'Pending' or 'Terminated'."

    The two paused for a moment, they knew precisely what was going on. The Office of Naval Intelligence was backtracking from the Spartan IIs. They would offer them civilianship, and then assassinate them to prevent them from discussing their pasts. Serin Osmin, Director of ONI, was no exception, considering how she had been a drop out.

    "No wonder the Master Chief disappeared two years ago." Blaine shook his head. "After all we've done for these people, and they're willing to toss us in the trash like common garbage."

    Returning to his tablet, he swiped the holograms in the room to his personalized thumbdrive, before discarding the files and permanently deleting them from his tablet. Turning the lights back on, there was a sharp knock on the door. Autumn and Blaine tensed, grabbing at their weapons. Autumn stood beside the door, as Blaine squared up with the door frame.

    "I'm busy, who is it?"

    "Lord Hood." Hood's familiar voice echoed through the door. "Please, Blaine, let me in."

    Holding his pistol at his side, Autumn held hers at head level, as Blaine opened the sliding door. Hood's face was forever serious, something unsurprising to Blaine, but today, it seemed to be much more prominent.

    "I'm alone, I swear." Hood said, as Blaine pulled the Fleet Admiral inside.

    "I want answers, what the hell is going on?!" Blaine barked. "I'm skipping the formalities today."

    "I have no idea, someone in ONI clued me into this whole ordeal." Hood shrugged. "My money is on Serin, ever since Margaret retired... she's been doing a fine job."

    "Osmin's toast, Hood." Blaine shook his head. "-And it sounds like the rest of us Spartan II's are on ONI's shit list."

    "That's what I feared." Hood stared at the floor. "Which is why I need to ask you to run an OP for me. Consider it a personal favor."

    "I'm being hunted, and you expect me to do you a favor?"

    "Scratch my back, and I can scratch yours." Hood's intense eyes stared at Blaine. "ONI has been gathering some intel on my past, some stuff that, if put into the public's eye, could get me out of my seat."

    "-and?" Blaine asked, crossing his arms.

    "I can sway the Admiralty, in the event you are put on public trail. I did the same thing with your Father, Morgan, years ago. But if I'm kicked out of my seat, it's curtains for you."

    Blaine nodded curtly, relocking the door behind them.

    "Where is this intel?" Blaine asked.

    "Outer Colonies, Planet Hermes. There is an ONI research facility out there, along with a UNSC outpost. It won't be easy, but I've sent some word ahead that a representative of the UNSC will be coming out to witness Project T.I.T.A.N."

    "The Exo-skeletons?" Blaine asked, recalling the Project title beside the blueprints.

    "It appears Serin let you in on the conspiracy too." Hood nodded. "Indeed, while you are there, you'll need to find a way to their information center, and torch it discretely."

    "Alright, get me my team and..."

    "Negative. You are attending a single man operation. Bringing your squad in will raise some red flags."

    "But ONI is likely to be hunting them as well."

    "Not if they don't know what the conspiracy is. Keeping them in the dark is the best option you've got."

    With that, Hood left the room, leaving the two Spartans to themselves. Wrapping her arms around his torso, Autumn buried her head into his chest.

    "I'll do what I have to, and I'll be back." Blaine said, hugging her tightly. "But if something does go wrong, I need you to take Dawn and go. I don't care where, just get her out of here."

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    "Ah, Admiral. It's good to see you!" Doctor Bailey smiled, approaching him. "I've been told to get your suit readied for your trip to Station Galileo. After your scrap with the Forerunner's Prometheans two years ago, your systems have been since upgraded and remodeled."

    "I know the Recon variant helmet has always been your staple, but unfortunately, that model has been deemed obsolete, and manufacturing companies no longer produce it."

    "I don't really care what the helmet looks like, Doc, as long as it keeps my head safe, it's beautiful. Except for EVA, I'd rather not look like a new home for the Goldfish of the world."

    "Needless to say though, your military career is of no laughing matter. With some help from our allies on Sanghelios, we've modeled a helmet that we think MIGHT just suit your legacy."

    Pulling the cloth away from the stand, the shiny new helmet sat before him. Gleaming in it's dark blue splendor, the dark red visor is what really sold it for Blaine. Before, he had always had a black visor, which always made people think of him as 'evil'. While red is no less intimidating, it was a lot less cold then black. Design wise, Blaine was impressed, it looked significantly similar to the Arbiter's helmet, from the time of the Covenant war.

    Suiting up with his remodeled Mjolnir Gen 2 armor, he planted the helmet on his head, until there was an audible 'pop'.

    "Not really much in the ways of upgrades, Admiral." Bailey shrugged. "But you should know it's limitations by now. Now then, please step over here so we can test out your new helmet."


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2015, 3:44 am

    Meanwhile, ONI Headquarters
    New Mombasa, Africa.

    Long after a crew of military police arrived at the scene of the brutal murder, the lone spartan stood there, shaking his head. He pondered why it was that the good always died so young, and so unjustly. Crouching to the dead woman's corpse, he pocketed a thumbdrive located in her hands, something the Police had over looked.

    "Is the Director dealt with?" his operator's voice echoed in his comm.

    "Yes sir." the Spartan nodded, turning on his boots and exiting the room.

    Once out into the hallway, he paused for a moment, a pair of researchers passing by. His H.U.D flashed for a moment, bringing up the list of dossier's. The woman in the last room, Director Osman, was crossed off.

    "I understand the Office is having you search for the traitor, but I need you to make a small detour for me."

    "Who is it this time?" the man replied bluntly.

    "A giant thorn in our sides. Bring him down, and you are a free man, free to return to your previous mission."

    The Spartan tensed as a familiar face popped up onto his screen, shaking his head, he wasn't sure if he'd be able to complete this task.

    "That might be a bit too much for me." the Spartan shook his head.

    "You're hunting the Master Chief, the 'Hero' of the Covenant War, and you're afraid of this guy?" the operator spoke coldly. "Perhaps you'd like the reports of you blatantly breaking our treaty with the Covenant to surface?"

    Growling to himself, the Spartan knew that if he didn't comply, ONI would send hits out on his family and himself. Clenching his fist, he stared intently at the image of the man in front of him.

    "If you've decided to grow a pair, he's on his way to Galileo Station, Planet Hermes. We have another operative out to help keep him under our thumb. There will be a ship waiting for you outside, be on it, or be exposed. Get it done, Locke."

    Once the comm. was shut down, the Spartan punched the wall, leaving a slight dent in it. Shaking his head, his eyes glared at the cold blue eyes that beamed back at him.

    "Blaine Harlowe... you're a dead man." he sighed. "Sorry."

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    UNSC Infinity
    Vehicle Docks.

    Blaine stood inside of the Aura of Armaggedon's vehicle bay, waving to his wife and daughter, whom stood just outside of his Frigate, in the bay of the Infinity.

    "Daddy'll be back soon, sunshine!" Blaine smiled beneath his helmet. "See you then, love you!"

    Dawn waved back to him, Autumn returning the smile. A pair of Marines clambered over, escorting the mother and child away from the launch zone. Walking further into his ship, neither Dawn nor Autumn could make out the man. The giant ship pulled itself higher into the air, before exiting the Infinity altogether.

    Blaine worked his way through his old Frigate, up to the bridge. Without Phil, Josh, or even Craig following him, it felt awfully foreign. All of his time in the ship, he spent it in the company of his squad. In fact, this was the first time the UNSC, let alone ONI, had him running solo ops. But it sure as hell beat desk work.

    ///////////////////////

    Hours Later

    It still amazed Blaine how far space travel had come since the War. What would have taken Humanity several days or weeks, now took mere hours. He hated to think it, but he had the Forerunners to thank for leaving that wealth of technology for them to discover. Served them right for jumping the gun and declaring war on Humanity.

    "Y'know, Admiral." the ensign replied. "I never noticed the new Helmet. It's nice, suits you, I think."

    "Thanks, I guess." Blaine shrugged. "I could care less what the armor looks like, just so long as it gets the job done."

    "At least it's not EVA, sir. Can you imagine all the fish swimming by if we filled it with water?"

    Blaine chuckled at her words. God had he missed this, the company of his crew, the feel of adventure. Though, when he thought about it, he'd have rathered the desk work than become a target on the ONI's shit list.

    "Receiving a hail from the UNSC Bennington, sir. Asking for identification?"

    "UNSC Bennington this is Fleet Admiral Blaine Harlowe, I was sent here on direct orders by Lord Hood. I'm supposed to be examining some of your research findings?"

    "Thank you, Admiral. You're all clear for landing. Tell your NAV to follow trajectory Zulu Golf Echo Tango Foxtrot. Have a nice day. the AI from the Bennington replied via comm.

    As the Aura descended, he handed control, again, back to Captain Hamilton, his old Lieutenant back in the day. Working his way back through his ship, he ran his hands along the walls. Hopping into the back of one of the Pelicans, he stepped in the Pilot's seat, and lifted the machine out of the Aura.

    Landing on a designated pad, a group of Marines walked out of the research facility, a man in a dark blue suit approached. Blaine stepped out of the Pelican, marching towards the man in blue.

    "Admiral Blaine? I'm Doctor Eusine Bertrand. I'm the Senior Researcher here at Galileo Station. Please, follow me. I think you might find our research to be quite liberating for a Spartan, such as yourself."

    Smiling, the suited scientist lead the Spartan through the building, the Marines all having their weapons trained on him.

    "I understand the necessity for keeping data like this safe, but is this necessary?" Blaine asked, the Marines tensing.

    "He's right, stand down soldiers." Eusine barked, as the men lowered their weapons. "My apologies, Admiral. This is some pretty sensitive stuff we have researching here, if anything were to happen to this data... I dunno what would become of Humanity."

    "Indeed. What exactly is it that you've been researching?" Blaine asked.

    "Ah yes. Since the introduction of the Spartan II's in the early stages of the Covenant War, Marines and even ODSTs have felt themselves becoming more and more obsolete on the battlefield. While still highly capable, a Marine was more cannon fodder to a Spartan than an ally."

    "I viewed every soldier on the field as an ally, not a nuisance." Blaine shook his head. "Every Marine or ODST dead was another dead man or woman."

    "A noble view, it's unfortunate that the unaugmented members of the military did not share those same views. Which is where Project T.I.T.A.N comes in."

    "Highly advanced hydraulic systems that act as a combat harness for ODSTs and Marines that don't fit the cut of being a Spartan IV. These exoskeletons could, in theory, make a Marine as strong as a Spartan, as swift as a Spartan, and jump higher than even a Spartan themselves."

    "Interesting. How is the Project coming along?"

    "Very well, in fact, we're on the final phase of testing. It shouldn't be long before T.I.T.A.N becomes mass produced and shipped out, perhaps within the week."

    "That soon?" Blaine asked, exasperated. "Could I perhaps see the relevant data on your findings?"

    "That's an odd question to ask, Admiral." Eusine stated, turning to face him. "Our Data center is strictly off limits, and I don't even care if you were ONI's Director herself, no-one enters that room."

    "I'm sorry." Blaine shook his head. "I was only curious how they work."

    "Oh." Eusine paused for a moment. "Excuse my brashness. I should have known better. If you are willing, I can have a live spar with you and Sergeant Sanders over there. He's our best subject."

    "Absolutely." Blaine nodded, cracking his knuckles.

    If he could make big enough of a mess during the spar, he figured he could sneak away and access the data room. Working his way into the arena, Sergeant Sanders had been previously suited up, sparring with a trio of ODSTs.

    "Sergeant, this is Admiral Blaine, one of the most well reknown Spartan II combatants left in the military. He will be sparring with you to test the weapons. I implore you to not hold back, but also not to break the poor man."

    "Oh really?" Blaine growled. "I still have a few tricks up my sleeve, boyo."

    Sprinting at Blaine, Sergeant Sanders launched a mighty punch. Blaine caught it with his fist, though found himself sliding backwards along the ground from the force. Sander's eyes opened wide, as Blaine gave a swift jab to Sander's torso, launching the Marine backwards.

    Attempting to follow up, Sanders swept the feet out from underneath Blaine. Grabbing Blaine's chest, Sanders slid Blaine across the floor, the Spartan's head slamming into the far wall. Standing, Sanders was already on top of him. Swinging fist after fist into Blaine's helmet, the Marine smashed a boot into Blaine's chest, launching him through the wall.

    Dust filled the air, as the Marine bounced from foot to foot, eager to continue the spar.

    "Whatsa matter old timer? Technology proving too much for one of Humanity's best?"

    The ground beneath them shook however, as the dust swirled around in a giant tornado, before solidifying into a giant blue sphere. A golden eagle emblazoned itself on the side of the shell, before the entire crystalline capsule shattered. The Marine took a step backwards, as all the researchers stared, wide eyed, at the Spartan.

    A golden aura seemingly surrounded the Spartan, who stood there, arms crossed. Chuckling, Blaine cracked his neck, before slowly walking towards him.

    "Hehe. That was pretty good." Blaine smirked beneath his helmet. "In fact, you may have almost won this fight. But you misunderstood your opponent."

    Dashing off of his right foot, the ground beneath Blaine crumpled backwards, a circle of dust exploding out from behind him. Titles beneath his feet flew into the air from the immense amount of forces acting on them. Planting his shoulder into the Marine's chest, the exo-skeleton covered soldier sprang across the floor, barreling through numerous walls.

    "There is a reason why I'm deemed one of the best." Blaine stood there. "Now come on then! IMPRESS ME!"

    The Marine stood shakily, before clenching his fists. Dashing at the Spartan, he swung a mean cross, as Blaine sidestepped. Throwing punch after punch, the Spartan dodged every single one of them, never crossing his arms.

    Disappearing for about a moment, the Marine's eyes peered left to right, attempting to locate the missing Spartan. Tapping the Marine's shoulder, Blaine chuckled as the Marine nearly jumped out of his exo suit.

    "Well come on then! I want you to hit me!"

    Laughing, the Spartan disappeared numerous times, multiple holograms of himself forming around the Marine. Stopping finally, he planted one final, massive punch into the soldier's chest, disintegrating the suit around him, and launching the human inside into the far wall.

    "You told him to be careful not to break me." Blaine chuckled, as the golden aura slowly faded. "Nothing about me not breaking him. Sorry about the Prototype."

    "Uh... that's fine." Eusine stammered. "We have plenty more. Excuse me while I call a medical team."

    Sprinting away, Eusine fled through the nearby door, as the Marines gathered around Sanders, who miraculously sat up from his wounds, groaning as he did so. Walking past the Marines, who were too preoccupied by their wounded brethren, Blaine found his prize.

    Grabbing the door to the Data room, he ripped the door open without delay. Locating the nearest terminal, he set to work immediately deleting the incriminating data on Lord Hood, along with downloading more data on T.I.T.A.N directly to his suit.

    "That's about enough of that, Admiral." a cool voice said from behind him, a familiar voice at that.

    "Agent Locke." Blaine shook his head.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 30th 2015, 10:44 pm

    "Put the weapon down, son." Blaine turned to face the Spartan in the doorway.

    "I know what you're capable of, combatically speaking... sir." Locke growled. "I'm going to have to respectfully deny that order."

    "There is no reason to point the weapon at me, Commander." Blaine insisted, stepping forward. "My mission here was to dig up information regarding a conspiracy within the UNSC-"

    "I'm well aware of what you're doing here." Locke shook his head. "My mission is to prevent you from doing that."

    "So... you're involved too?" Blaine asked, clenching his fist. "What do you gain from this, huh? Are they offering you wealth, power?"

    "You think I would lower my morales for a PAYCHECK?!" Locke growled, snapping the Assault Rifle on target.

    "I thought a lot about you, Locke. How I had trust in you to do what was right, for the UNSC and all of her Colonies. That's the Spartan creedo, that is something that I TAUGHT YOU PERSONALLY!" Blaine barked. "If you want to prove that to me, you WILL... LOWER... YOUR.. WEAPON!"

    "Negative." Locke shook his head, clenching the rifle firmly.

    "Then you are an enemy to the UNSC, and will be treated as such." Blaine clenched his fists.

    Firing his Assault Rifle at the massive Spartan, Locke advanced forward, as Blaine dove through the nearby wall to avoid the fire. Locating the nearest chair, he heaved it through the hole, the furniture smashed Locke square in the face, disorienting the other Spartan.

    Thrusting a massive fist down on top of Locke's helmet, Blaine blasted his right fist into Locke's chest, launching the newer generation Spartan backwards. Stomping forwards, Blaine seized Locke's dropped weapon off of the floor, pointing it towards him.

    "I've had about enough of ONI treating us Spartan IIs like god damn sacks of meat!" Blaine's helmet disassembled off of his face, fire in his icy blue eyes. "We are people too!"

    Thrusting the rifle down on his knee, the weapon snapped in half, falling to the floor. Locke leaned upwards, pistol in hand, firing a salvo of three rounds at the veteran's exposed head. Blaine anticipated this move, summoning a Hardlight shield in front of him, his helmet reassembling.

    "People who betray their Government when given their freedom!" Locke growled, standing. "Everyone thought the Chief was the Hero of the Universe! I even thought it too! But he became our greatest traitor!"

    "That's bullshit." Blaine snarled. "John isn't the kind of guy to betray his people. I've known him better than that!"

    "A thief will only protect a thief until his usefulness wears thin." Locke cracked his neck. "You needed him as a Scapegoat to continue your agenda."

    "The only 'AGENDA' I've had, is planning my goddamned RETIREMENT!" Blaine roared. "Not overthrowing the Government and Military that has given me EVERYTHING, when I had NOTHING!"

    Charging at the Spartan IV, Locke's pistol rang out, the rounds glancing off of Blaine's shields. Grabbing the Agent by his throat, Blaine whipped Locke through the door, back out into the hallway. Eusine, who stood there, confused, bolted once Locke stood up.

    "Why are you doing this Locke?" Blaine asked, stomping towards his enemy. "I protected you from what could have been a VERY incriminating event, because I figured you had been through enough hell! If not for a paycheck, WHY would you hunt me down, huh?!"

    "For my goddamned Wife and kid!" Locke growled. "ONI has them hostage, and if I don't do their bidding... they'll."

    "So you would deny MY family their Husband... their FATHER. Just so you can have YOURS. Fuck you!" Blaine spat. "What gives YOU the right to choose! What do you think ONI will do once I'm dead? Do you think they'd spare my wife?! Do you think they'll allow my daughter a normal, civilian life?!"

    "How is that any better of an argument, you would deny me MINE?!" Locke growled, as the two Spartans locked hands in a battle of strength.

    "You have your own choices, Spartan Locke! You could choose to walk now, pretend I'm dead. Or you can kill an innocent man trying to live his goddamn life, and condemn his family to a similar fate!" Blaine growled. "As I have my own. I could easily overpower you, and break you like the twig you are, I can knock you unconscious, or I can pretend to be dead so you get what you want, and I get what I want."

    Locke pondered it for a moment, struggling under the Blaine's raw strength. That gave Blaine just the moment he needed, lifting the Spartan IV by his hands, Blaine circle threw him halfway through the room.

    Stomping towards Locke's position, the Spartan IV sighed, his hands raised in the air. Locke's helmet disassembled, as the dark skin man grinned from beneath his helmet.

    "You had faith in me, Admiral." Locke nodded, his eyes peering to the floor, before returning to Blaine. "I have faith in you. My only request is that, should this plan go south, you'll do what you can to bring these bastards down."

    Reaching out his hand, Blaine accepted it with a curt nod. Locke winked, before pushing the Spartan II to the far wall. Sliding down it, Blaine slumped up against the wall where Sergeant Sanders had been bleeding. Freezing there for a moment, Locke tapped him on the shoulder, letting him know it was clear.

    "I'm warning you though, Admiral." Locke growled. "If you deceived me this day, it will be the last mistake you will make."

    "You'll be the first to know." Blaine nodded curtly, before jogging out of the facility, the data on T.I.T.A.N uploaded to his suit, and the data on Lord Hood, destroyed.

    "This is Locke. Spartan 115 is neutralized. But I couldn't stop him in time."

    "Very good, Agent Locke. The Data he destroyed can always be replaced, but without him stabbing us in the back, we will ensure a brighter future for all... including your Daughter."

    "Affirmative. On my way back now."

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Eusine chuckled for a moment, as his body contorted and shifted for a moment. Cracking his neck, he ran a hand through his slicked back, platinum blonde hair.

    "Eusine?" he asked into the earpiece he had hidden in his lobe. "Is that the best you got for me, Grim? I sound like some fairy that belongs at a Chip and Dales with that kind of name."

    "That... was Pestilence's idea. If what I heard is correct, then Blaine Harlowe is not actually dead, and our dirt on Hood destroyed. Pluto, send word to War. Phase 2 is a-go, NOW!"

    "That won't be necessary. I sent our Operative out to obtain the targets. Famine, as repugnant as it sounds, you are clear to... 'devour'... any remaining witnesses as you see fit."

    Turning his head towards the remaining Marines, their limbs utterly broken, Famine smacked his lips. The Soldiers stared, wide eyed at the shapeshifter before them.

    "With pleasure."


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 1st 2015, 6:46 pm

    Meanwhile
    New York City, New York, Earth

    Autumn shifted nervously in the Subway seat, Dawn sitting beside her, ever so innocent. After the two of them had been dropped off from the Pelican, Autumn had the unusual sense that someone had been following them. Messaging her suspicions to Blaine, he suggested rallying in Grand Central Station, as he had business to attend to there.

    Suddenly, the subway came to a halt, causing Autumn to shudder. Dawn giggled as she played with Mr. Fluffykins. Peering around, Autumns' eyes widened as a man with black hair, and a scruffy black beard stared at her with a malicious grin.

    "Oh no." she gasped, as the doors opened.

    Grabbing Dawn, she sprinted out the door, as the bulky man jolted after her. The servos in his robotic arm and leg squealing from the exertion. Shoving her way through the crowd to avoid her pursuer, many people attempted to step in front of the man, only to be tossed aside.

    Up in the main street, Autumn tripped on someone's shoe. Hugging Dawn tightly, Autumn rolled over her shoulder, praying not to damage her seven/eight year old daughter. Dawn giggled as she rolled out of the way.

    "Autumn!" she could hear Blaine yell from across the street, as traffic wizzed by at lightning speed. "Hold on!"

    Autumn shrieked, however, as a cold mechanical hand wrapped itself around the back of her throat. Feeling herself get lifted into the air, he felt the man's putrid breath on the back of her neck.

    "'ello poppet." Butch sneered. "Never thought you'd see me again, did you darlin'?"

    "BUTCH!" Blaine roared, trying to get through the speeding traffic.

    Autumn's eyes welled up with tears, as she watched a pale man in a suit lift Dawn, clambering into a car, which sped off.

    "Y'know, I just want to get something off my chest." Butch monologued behind her. "It's nothin' personal. But Blaine took someone I love from me, and it's only fair that I RETURN THE FAVOR!"

    Autumn's eyes opened wide, as she felt something pierce through her lower stomach. The obstruction was ripped out, before piercing her chest. Few people around them tried to stop him, instead hurrying their pace to avoid them. The few heroes that did attempt to stop Butch only got batted aside. Next thing Autumn knew, she found herself on her back, staring up at the clouds.

    "BUTTTTTTTTTTTTCH!" Blaine roared, as he stomped out into the road, an eighteen wheeler barreling at him.

    Firmly planting his feet, he punched the hood of the truck, as it flipped high above his head, the engine crumpling to nothing.

    "I'M FUCKING WALKING HERE!" Blaine roared, as people honked their horns at him.

    "Not that the spectacle wasn't amazing, but I really should be off." Butch chuckled, attempting to move.

    He found himself unable to, however, as Autumn's hand wrapped itself around his ankle.

    "No.. you shouldn't." Autumn wheezed.

    Butch gulped as Blaine's shadow overtook him on the sidewalk. In a similar fashion as Butch had done with Autumn, Butch's eyes widened as Blaine lifted him with a single hand by the back of his neck.

    "I don't know if you are misunderstood, or just full blown retarded." Blaine growled darkly. "But I do seem to recall making a promise to you the last time we encountered."

    "You won't do anything." Butch smirked, blood trickling down the corner of his mouth.

    "Yet." Blaine growled. "Where'd they take my daughter?"

    "I ain't- gaaah!"

    "Speak... NOW!" Blaine's voice boomed, and for just a second, New York City froze to stare.

    "Legion Headquarters." Butch coughed, as Blaine's grip grew tighter.

    "The Legion..." Blaine growled, tossing Butch away.

    Chuckling, Butch stood, a pistol at the ready. Pointing it towards Blaine, Butch smirked.

    "It's only fair Blaine, you took Kati- gah!" Butch started, as Blaine's knife found it's way into Butch's throat.

    "Just fucking shut up." Blaine's eyes glowed red, as Butch stared with fear.

    Tearing from one side of Butch's neck to the other, Blaine's archrival gargled as blood began pouring out of the open wound that was forming. With a splash, Butch's lifeless corpse hit the concrete, his eyes staring into the abyss with absolute fear.

    Turning in a heartbeat, Blaine pulled his only can of Biofoam off of his suit. Applying the needle into the hole in her chest, he could see her breathing was labored. Butch had ruptured one of her lungs. Autumn sobbed as she attempted to gather her breath, but found herself unable to.

    "I need a medic!" Blaine barked, as people on the street continued their walk. "GODDAMMIT, I NEED A MEDIC! SHE'S BLEEDING OUT!"

    "I'm a doctor!" one person ran over, crouching beside Blaine. "Good, you used the Bio-foam on the chest cavity first. Don't move her."

    The Doctor quickly checked over Autumn, offering another can of biofoam to her stomach wound. Pressing a pair of fingers to Autumn's neck, the Doctor's eyes opened with worry, as he pulled a tablet out of his suitcase.

    "Stay with me... Mrs.?"

    "Harlowe. Autumn Harlowe." Blaine answered for his wife.

    Blaine stared over the Doctor's shoulder, while maintaining pressure on Autumn's stomach wound. He had some basic medical training to understand what the tablet was saying. It wasn't good.

    "C'mon sweetheart, stay with me." Blaine said, holding her hand in his. "You've been through worse, c'mon."

    ~There's no time for us....

    "D-dawn." Autumn whispered, gulping as she struggled to breath.

    ~There's no place for us....

    The Doctor nudged Blaine on the shoulder, shaking his head solemnly. Nodding in understanding, Blaine silently thanked the Doctor, as people walking by started to slow down.

    ~What is this thing that builds our Dreams...

    "I'll get Dawn. Don't you worry. Just stay with me!" Blaine prayed to whatever powers that be for a miracle.

    -yet slips away from us?

    "Who wants to live... forever?" Autumn smiled, squeezing his hand tightly.

    "Don't think like that." Blaine shook his head. "You're going to be fine! DON'T TALK LIKE THAT."

    Who wants to live... forever?

    "S-save our Daughter." Autumn smiled. "Keep her s-safe."

    There's no chance for us.

    Blaine's eyes welled up with tears as he felt her grip slowly soften, feeling her life force slowly drifting away from her.

    It's all decided for us.

    Moving closer to her, he cradled her head in his arms, as she smiled up at him, her breathing still ragged and labored.

    This world has only one sweet moment set aside, for us.

    "Who wants to live... forever?" she asked again, as Blaine shook his head.

    "Who wants to live... forever?" she insisted, as Blaine again refused to acknowledge it.

    Who dares to love forever?! Ohhhhh, when love must die?!

    Blaine knew what she was doing, and he didn't want it to happen. She was singing to Queen, one of their favorite bands. Some nights, they would spend it singing their favorite songs, and this one was one of them. Sighing, he knew there was no point fighting it, he'd give her a reason to go out happy.

    "Then touch my tears... with your lips." he softly sang to her, as she did indeed smile.

    "-and touch my world with your finger tips."

    "And we can have, forever!" Blaine sang slightly louder, tears streaming down his cheek. "And we can LOVE forever!"

    "Forever... is our today." Blaine smiled, nuzzling his forehead against hers.

    "Who wants to live forever?" she sang softly back, tears now running down her cheeks.

    "Who wants to live forever?" they sang together.

    "Forever... is ours today." Blaine frowned as she slowly became more limp in his arms.

    "Who... waits... forever... anyway." she sighed one last time, before reaching her hand up to wipe one of his tears away, mouthing the words 'I love you'.

    "Yeah sweetheart. I love you too." Blaine shuddered, his lip quivering. "Forever and always. Sleep tight angel."

    Bowing his head, several people stopped to watch, as Blaine gently lifted his late wife into his arms. Slowly walking across the street, unfazed by anything, cars stopped for once to let him pass, as the Spartan and his wife disappeared, Butch's corpse lying where he had left it.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Two days later.
    Legion Headquarters.

    "Demoralized?!" Walter gaffawed at Pluto. "We shattered his resolve in one fell swoop!"

    "So now we have his daughter. Whoopty fucking do." Famine shook his head. "That's painting a giant target over our heads, don't you think?"

    "That's the point. As I speak, Pestilence is augmenting the girl."

    "AUGMENTING HER?!" Manuel stood up suddenly. "At her age, death is almost guaranteed!"

    "Precisely." Walter nodded. "The Admiral comes for his daughter, finds her dead because of the augments, his morale falls to it's absolute lowest, and then Famine kills him."

    "W-why me?!" Famine asked. "You remember what that bastard did to me the LAST time we killed the pipsqueak?!"

    "He doesn't have the influence of Goldenheart anymore." War's eyes flickered red. "Besides, you're a shapeshifter, choose a form wildly more brawnier then a Spartan. If you're completely incompetent, Manuel will be there to assist you, right, General?"

    "Affirmative." Manuel nodded. "Please excuse me sir."

    Manuel walked out the door, closing it firmly behind him.

    "I must ask." Pluto said, cocking his head towards Walter. "What if the girl survives?"

    "It's not hard to indoctrinate children, Pluto." Walter smirked. "We just convince her that by helping us, we'll bring her back to her father. Kind of like what we did with Manuel.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Lord Hood smiled brightly as he approached the office door. The past couple of days had been quite eventful. With Blaine's help destroying all incriminating evidence on Hood, Terrence was able to convince the remainder of the Admiralty that Blaine was not, in fact, a traitor. Secondly, he had gained diplomatic immunity for Blaine and his family from ONI, preventing them from being hunted further for any reason.

    Knocking again, he did not hear an answer. Frowning, Terrence knew it was unlike Blaine to leave his office unattended for this long. Pressing the override keys into the numpad on the door, the door slid open, as Hood walked into the darkened room.

    "Admiral?" Hood asked, flicking the light on.

    In the corner, the Spartan was lightly rapping his head off of the wall, a distant stare in his... red... pupils. Tensing, Hood knew Blaine wasn't himself. The Spartan's head snapped towards him, as Lord Hood held his hands up in front of him.

    "Whatever the issue is, I can help!"

    Still, the figure continued to walk towards him, slowly.

    "Is it Autumn, is it Dawn?" Hood's eyes opened wide. "Oh my god, that's who was- Jesus Christ son, I'm sorry for your loss."

    "If Dawn's been captured, I can get you the resources you need to get her back." that was the ticket.

    The redness in Blaine's pupils slowly faded, returning them to their usual blueness. Standing there, Blaine's nostrils flared, as Lord Hood nodded.

    "Say what you need, and it's yours." Hood nodded. "Bailey's got some experimental tech, all yours if you want. If you need a stealth team, I'll give executive orders for them."

    "You scratched my back, and now I'm going to help scratch yours."


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 1st 2015, 7:33 pm

    Author's Notes: I'm putting this out in the open, this story is going to seem extremely short. More will be revealed about this later. For now, let's give Blaine his revenge.

    "I like this new piece of technology." Bailey smiled for a second, before frowning at Blaine's cold face. "It's a grapple gun, specially designed for Mjolnir rigs. Perfect for stealth missions, and locomoting a two ton Spartan with relative ease. It's win win."

    "How about killing people?" Blaine asked darkly.

    "Well, I mean. It could be used as a weapon. But I think it might serve you better as a utility." Bailey's eyes widened every time she glanced at Blaine's emotionless face.

    "Good, I want four." Blaine growled. "Set Darryl, David, and Naomi up with one a piece. We're taking a Golden Eagle in, make sure it's outfitted with a stealth drive."

    Bailey nodded, as Blaine stomped out of the lab, the doctor wiping a bead of sweat from her forehead. She still wasn't quite sure what was scarier, Husk Blaine, or Blaine when he's really pissed.

    Blaine continued to walk towards the vehicle bay, as a pair of familiar faces grinned.

    "There's the freak!" Josh grinned.

    "Hey Blaine," Phil nodded. "Ready for retirement? We've been enjoying it."

    "I'm retiring when I'm dead, or the Legion is nothing but ash." Blaine said barging through them.

    For a moment, the twins stared at each other, as Bailey beckoned them over.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    That Night

    "Alright, because Blaine has all but taken an Oath of silence, I'm going to run this down for us." Darryl said, as David and Naomi stared at Blaine, who stared at the wall opposite of him. "Blaine's being dropped off at the perimeter of the front courtyard. Us three will wait for his distraction to enter the rear of the building, rescue Dawn, get the VIP to the Pelican, then exfil Blaine."

    "Right." David nodded, turning to Blaine. "Don't worry Dad, we'll get our sister back."

    Blaine's fist clenched, as all the knuckles inside popped, sending chills through everyone, including Darryl's, spine. The hatch began to open, as Blaine jumped out without a moment's hesitation. The layout of the courtyard was pretty simple. Two large doors lead into the facility, with two guards in what appeared to be T.I.T.A.N rigs standing watch in front of them.

    Two sniper towers were visible as well, but ironically enough, not visible to each other. Aiming his silenced DMR, he quickly popped one sniper in the face, then the other. The near silent sounds of his weapon, however, gathered the attention of one of the nearby guards.

    "Hold on Frank, thought I heard something." one of the guards yawned.

    "You're chasing a damn squirrel." the blonde haired man scoffed.

    "Better than standing next to you, dude, I swear you're Famine himself. You eat just about anything and in large quantities."

    "Whatever, just go check out that noise, I'm going to take a quick leak."

    Turning on the spot, the blonde guard unzipped his pants, a golden stream of liquid showering the wall. Meanwhile, the guard nearest him crept up towards his shrub cover. Priming the grapple gun, Blaine fired it point blank into the man's chest. Piercing the exo armor, Blaine tugged with all of his might, ripping the electronic suit off of the man, while pulling the pilot straight towards him.

    Grabbing his target by the face, Blaine's helmet disassembled, his cold smile instilling fear into the man's heart. Thrusting downwards with all of his might, Blaine heard the satisfying splatter of the man's head exploding like a Gallagher watermelon.

    ///////////////////////////

    "I'm rather bored." Walter sighed, staring out the window, overlooking the compound. "I was expecting company tonight."

    "Oh, I'm sure he'll show up." Pluto nodded. "Death says ONI received and confirmed several requisitions to one Admiral Blaine Harlowe.

    "If that is the case, I want you down in the compound, prepare to fight him." Walter nodded. "If it becomes too much trouble, Famine should be there to help you, assuming he's not.... peeing on the wall again."

    ///////////////////////////////

    "Doo doo doo~" Famine whistled to himself, as he felt a gloved hand grip the back of his throat.

    "Remember me, maggot?" Blaine growled in his ear. "How do I open this door?"

    "Let me go?" Famine smiled.

    "Not going to happen."

    "Well, I have the key so..."

    Blaine smirked as Famine's eyes grew wide with horror.

    ///////////////////////////////////

    BANG

    Walter smirked as the double doors to the courtyard resounded throughout the compound.

    "I do believe he's here." Walter chuckled. "Do be kind to our guest, he did knock, after all."

    BANG

    Again, the sound echoed throughout the compound, as the guards all tensed. A formation of some thirty Spartans lined up in front of War's tower, weapons at the ready.

    BANG

    Once more, the sound echoed, almost like a church bell signaling the end of a day. In the dusk light, Walter could make out some projectile flying towards his window. Without flinching, he saw Famine's head begin to slide down the glass.

    "Hmmph, pathetic, as always."

    BANG

    Finally, the double doors burst open, as all of the Legionaries snapped their weapons up to enemy forces knocking on their door.

    "Heh!" one of the guards said nervously, observing the lone Spartan standing in the door. "It's just one guy. C'mon fellas, let's rock this fucker's world!"

    "HYAAAAAAAAAAH!" the Legionaries charged at him, refusing to fire their weapons.

    Within an instant, Blaine disappeared from sight. The Legionaries halted, before turning to find the Spartan II standing in their midst, head bowed towards the floor. Raising one hand, a small ball of golden light formed in the man's hand, before it blasted a Legionaire's head off of his shoulders.

    "WALTER!" Blaine's voice boomed through the courtyard. "GIVE.... ME... MY... DAUGHTER!"

    ///////////////////////

    Manuel groaned, he hated babysitting duties, and being caught with Blaine's daughter in his hands... yikes. He knew the Spartan well, and actually considered him an acquiantance. But his loyalty to the Legion was not in question, and he did as he was told.

    Walter! GIVE... ME... MY... DAUGHTER! was all he could hear through the walls, as the girl feebly tried to move, opening her eyes.

    "D-Daddy?" she asked, as Manuel looked down at her.

    "No. I'm Manuel." he shook his head.

    "No, I just heard Daddy." Dawn frowned. "He doesn't sound happy. Can we see him, please?"

    "No can do, kiddo." Manuel frowned.

    There was a clicking sound from behind him, as Manuel tensed.

    "You're going to rethink that sentence, dude." Darryl's familiar voice growled from behind him. "Give me my niece, and you don't become worm food."

    "If you want her-" before Manuel could speak, the butt of Darryl's shotgun smashed into the back of his helmet, Darryl snatched Dawn out of the air.

    David and Naomi sat back, firing their weapons at the encroaching Legionaries. Darryl nodded towards them, before glancing down at the girl in his arms.

    "Don't worry kiddo, we'll get you out." Darryl nodded. "Just hang on tight."

    ///////////////////////////////////

    Transitioning from one soldier to the next, Blaine's motions were so quick, the men appeared to be getting hit from an invisible man. Punching one man in the stomach lightning fast, his knee was in their chin before they could even react.

    Appearing behind another soldier, Blaine didn't hesitate to snap his neck like a twig. Preparing another energy ball of light, Blaine fired it into a crowd of four, incinerating them all. Turning on his boots, he fired his grapple gun, the rope wrapping around the neck of another soldier. Tugging with one hand, the man's head was pulled cleanly off of his shoulders.

    There was a thud from behind him, as the remainder of Legionaries fled. They would rather face execution then be killed by this Spartan. Blaine didn't turn to face the thud, he already knew it was the clone of John, Pluto.

    "C'mon hot stuff. I'm the clone of a CQB MASTER!" Pluto chuckled, bouncing from one foot to the next.

    Pluto's eyes widened, however, as Blaine was already on top of him. Smashing his right fist into Pluto's cheek, Blaine walked in step with his foe, firing a punch every time Pluto recoiled backwards. Swinging a wide kick to the side of Pluto's head, the Spartan III clone flew through the wall of the facility, leaving a giant plume of dust.

    "Clearly you've never seen John and I spar." Blaine scoffed. "Disappointing. He could put up more of a fight with his fucking PINKY FINGER!"

    Charging after Pluto, Blaine gave a swift uppercut to Pluto's stomach, before following up with a nasty left haymaker, slamming Pluto into the ground. Grabbing Pluto by the leg, Blaine span in wide circles, before tossing Pluto up and away. Even if the bastard lived from the initial few hits, the landing would certainly kill him.

    "Impressive display. Despite having lost your beloved wife, you're still able to Ascend." Walter clapped. "I must say... I AM impressed. But if you want your daughter back, you will have to fight ME."


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 1st 2015, 9:20 pm

    "Heh, you say that like I didn't kick your ass last time." Blaine chuckled. "One way or another, you won't have my daughter."

    "You have shit memory, boy." Walter's eyes flickered red. "It was I who destroyed you last time."

    In the background, they could hear the Golden Eagle whirring to life, undoubtedly with Dawn in tow. Blaine smirked, as War growled, cracking his fists.

    "Very well, like the Djinns of old, you may have your daughter... or your life." War's eyes shone a brilliant red.

    "Both." Blaine smirked.

    Stepping back on his haunches, Blaine charged at War, who braced himself. Teleporting, War anticipated the maneuver, swinging his boot around to intercept Blaine. What he wasn't expecting, however, was Blaine to double teleport, placing him back in the original position he was last time.

    Punching Walter in the chest, the elderly man flew backwards, dust kicking up from the wall as he broke through. Charging a small golden sphere in his right hand, Blaine tossed the ball in the direction War had flown through. Clenching his hand into a fist, the ball exploded, damaging the interior of the building.

    The Golden Eagle slowly approached, turning to make a landing. Everything moved in slow motion for Blaine, as the troop bay opened, David holding his daughter towards the back of the bay. Naomi prepped her DMR, as they beckoned him aboard. Turning to face the direction War had gone, he saw a mass of purple energy surge towards the Golden Eagle. Preparing his orb of golden light, he lobbed it at the purple energy, prematurely exploding it.

    This, however, left him open. Grabbing Blaine by the shoulder, War smashed Blaine in the helmet, busting the new visor almost immediately. Smashing his forearm into Blaine's chest, he stomped down on Blaine's right foot, before bashing Blaine in the neck with a mighty left cross.

    "You think this is a game, you sniveling whelp?!" War growled, stomping towards him. "I have lived MILLENNIUMS, I have seen the rise and fall of the Forerunners, and everything I have worked for will NOT be squandered by some ORPHAN BOY!"

    "For someone that's lived so long, your fighting still isn't all that impressive." Blaine chuckled with a groan. "It's hilarious how worked up you're getting over this. Though I can imagine why, a Dinosaur is having trouble kicking a newborn in comparison's ass. Go back to the Prehistoric era, you fossil."

    War growled, before blasting towards Blaine at top speed. Blaine raised his fists in anticipation, as the two swapped blows between one another. Clasping their hands, it was a fight of strength. Whipping his head forwards, Blaine smashed Walter in the nose, knocking his foe's concentration off of the battle of attrition. Swinging blow after blow into the old man, Blaine formed a small gold orb again, flinging it into War's chest.

    The blast knocked Walter back, further into the compound, as the Golden Eagle made it's descent. Climbing inside, he heard something behind him. Pushing David and Dawn out of the way, Blaine turned in time to see a purple lance of energy surge towards him. Blaine eyes opened wide, as he heard blood splash into the deck behind him.

    "DAD!" David yelled, as Dawn shrieked in fear.

    "Alright asshole. Playtime's over." Darryl said over the loud speaker of the ship, turning it to face War. "ATOMIIIIIIIC FIRE!"

    Where the Spartan Laser module once sat on the front of the Golden Eagle, now a Fist of Sparta remained. Glowing a brilliant mixture of blue and gold, the blast surged towards War, who placed two fingers on his forehead, disappearing.

    Darryl, taking this window, blasted the Golden Eagle out of the unnamed Planet's atmosphere and towards the UNSC Infinity. David held Dawn still, while Darryl placed the ship on auto-pilot. For Blaine, his vision was slowly fading in and out. Naomi crouched beside him, a can of biofoam at the ready.

    "G-get her out of here." Blaine said. "Dawn, don't look at Daddy."

    "But you're hurt, poppa." she frowned. "Sister Naomi, can't you help him?"

    "Already on top of it, kiddo." Naomi frowned. "I don't think Biofoam's going to cut it... Dad."

    "I kinda figured." Blaine shook his head with a slight chuckle. "Guess it's that Harlowe bravado, eh? Could've just distracted him and ran for it."

    Darryl took notice as his half brother's eyes slowly started to shut. Gently shaking Blaine, he gave his half brother a tap on the cheek.

    "Hey, yo! You ain't dying on me tonight man. You've been through too much, and your Daughter's right there." Darryl said. "C'mon, who are you?"

    "Who am I?" Blaine echoed his brother. "Heh. Good question. Who am I?"

    Turning to his daughter, he smiled knowingly. Holding his hand out to her, she gently took it, shaking from the trauma of the nights events. Wiping a tear from his cheek.

    "I'm just an orphan boy sittin' in an old Maple tree, wishing for a better future." Blaine coughed. "God knows my wish.... came true."

    "Hey, HEY!" Darryl growled, applying the can of biofoam regardless. "Stay with me 115, that's an order!"

    "You three, take good care of Dawn. Dawn, angel, you be on your best behavior, you hear?" Blaine smiled, his hand slowly sliding off of hers.

    "See you tomorrow."


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 1st 2015, 9:53 pm

    One week later

    "Dearly beloved, we gather here in this day of sorrow to celebrate the life of the man that was once known as Fleet Admiral of the Navy Blaine Harlowe; Spartan One-One-Five." the Priest said above the crowd of mourners, a lone grave already filled in.

    "It is with heavy hearts, that we have to say farewell to this man. To his family, he was a loving husband, a caring father, and a supportive friend. To the people he served, he was a hero, a beacon of hope, and above all; and Inspiration."

    Dawn sobbed uncontrollably, as her adoptive brother, David, hugged her tightly. Naomi couldn't control her tears, holding an entire box of tissues in her lap. Surrounding them, the remaining fifty-nine Spartan IVs Blaine had trained personally all wore their dress clothes. Along with them, the several hundred Spartan IVs in the Spartan program, even the few remaining Spartan IIs, stood in a crisp salute.

    Even Lord Hood had been present, bowing his head in utter respect for the man he had at one point considered an apprentice. Beside the Spartan's grave was that of Autumn, his beloved wife. Darryl, Fred, Linda, and Kelly stood in a line, their BRs at the ready.

    "Soldiers!" Darryl's voice barked over the silent cemetery. "Present ARM!"

    Ceremoniously, the Spartan IIs shouldered the weapons, before firing the blanks into the air. Darryl's face was straight, rigid, and unyielding, as he seemingly followed the bullets endlessly. Dawn flinched every time the blanks were fired, but her stare did not leave the images of her beaming mother and father. Hugging Fluffykins tightly, she hated the man from a week ago. More then she ever thought she could hate.

    After a while, the crowd slowly dispersed. Despite having the utmost respect for the recently deceased, a Soldier's job was never done. Only five people remained, Dawn, Darryl, David, and Naomi. The fifth person, however, sat there, his head focused on something in his lap.

    "Oye." Darryl growled in annoyance. "A funeral's no place to play your stupid laptop games man! Have some respect."

    "Believe me, my attendance at this funeral is respect enough. I technically shouldn't be here. I'm trying to be insanely careful, without Blaine or Drake around.... faults in the timeline could-"

    "Ease up there doc." Darryl said. "I don't get your retro Sci-fi lingo, okay?"

    "Did I really make you out to be a surfer bro?" the man shook his head. "I'm here, because Blaine meant a lot to me. But also because there is only one way to get the future he wants."

    The man turned his attention away from the laptop for a moment to look at Dawn.

    "She must finish the transition to becoming a Spartan."

    "Woah no!" Darryl shook his head. "Blaine didn't want her in the military, I'm not having her augmented."

    "It's too late." the man shrugged. "Walter took care of that for you. You are welcome, by the way."

    "I'll do it." Dawn stood up, surprising all in attendance.

    "Wait a sec. You're that Morgan fella. The guy that types things and makes them real. You're not making her say those things..."

    "You're right, I'm not." Morgan smirked. "She said it herself. Did you see me type anything prior to that?"

    "Dawn sweetie, your Dad-"

    "That man hurt my Dad." Dawn shook her head, as tears began to form in her eyes. "I want to hurt him, Uncle Darryl."

    "If you do it, I can ensure that she won't stay in the military." Morgan nodded. "Oh, and one last note. Don't trust the UNSC past the Infinity and all who attended here today."

    "Why?" David quipped.

    "Listen to this:" Morgan tapped the enter key on his laptop, as a transmission began broadcasting.

    "For far too long, Humanity has suffered the agony of being the bilge rats of the Universe. But I say, NO MORE! With the recent scandal involving Lord Hood, and the death of the traitorous Blaine Harlowe, there is a Light at the end of the tunnel. Today, it is with great pride that I announce the merger between the UNSC and the Legion!

    We in the Legion PMC stand for Human progression, and will quell any alien attempts to interfere. Starting today, those enlisted in the UNSC will hail to my word without question. Failure to do so would be seen as an act of treason and will be dealt with... severely.

    I am also offering a large reward for the heads of anyone in the Harlowe family tree, as they are co-conspirators to the late Blaine Harlowe.
    "

    "That bastard... I'LL!" Darryl said, before stopping suddenly.

    "-Train Dawn the art of being a Spartan." Morgan's eyes flickered. "There is a reason why I ensured T.I.T.A.N data got uploaded to you. Get her some Mjolnir, you're an engineer of sorts, I know you'll come up with something. Flee to Sanghelios, Anch I'bort will house you. You'll know when the time is right."

    Before anyone else could get a word in, Morgan nodded politely to Blaine's daughter, before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 3rd 2015, 10:45 pm

    I'm dead.

    The words echoed into the blinding white light surrounding Blaine, as he seemingly drifted throughout the endlessness. Wincing for a moment, he glanced down at his torso, the massive hole from War's energy lance still remained.

    I'm dead.

    Blaine knew it should hurt, but he felt no pain. Removing his gaze from his wound, he continued to float through the nothing. To him, it reminded him of his occasional space walks in Spartan Boot Camp. Despite the weightless feeling, his heart was heavy with grief, as his eyes cast back down to his feet.

    I'm dead... and I failed them.

    Suddenly, the whiteness surrounding him became much more colorful. Setting his feet down flat, he realized he could walk again. Glancing around the scene looked foreign to him, a pair of men in a desert land. Both men appeared to be frozen in time, confusing Blaine.

    Staring intently at one of the men, he recognized him to be Angus Harlowe, the man from the video he had seen a week before. The other man was also from the video, Edward DeWinter, if Blaine hadn't been mistaken. What did confuse Blaine, however, were the other Marines in the room. He didn't recognize any of them.

    Approaching Edward, whom had his back turned to Angus, Blaine stood in front of the frozen man. Staring into Edward's eyes, Blaine's fists clenched.

    Red eyes.

    The two words echoed through the scene before him, in his own voice.

    "War." Blaine growled.

    "Douchebag is more like it." a foreign voice said from behind him. "I don't know who you are, but if you hate the bastard, then you're a friend to me."

    Turning around, Angus Harlowe walked up to him, a smile on his face as he took a look at Blaine.

    "Well, I'll be damned." Angus grunted, crossing his arms. "You must be my Grandson, the one Morgan's always talkin' about."

    "Morgan, he's here?" Blaine asked.

    "Well, both of them." a familiar voice replied to his right.

    Turning, Blaine took notice as the brown haired man walked over towards him, laptop in hand.

    "You're that guy from..."

    "From when you reawakened GoldenHeart, yes." Morgan nodded. "To spare you the confusion, call me Shadow."

    "I gotta say Blaine, for a wicked smart dude, you're pretty dumb sometimes." Shadow chuckled. "Of course Morgan is here, in fact, Angus here's name used to be- You know what, nevermind. Joke is ruined."

    "You think THIS is a joke?!" Blaine snarled. "I'm dead, and I've got a sneaking suspicion YOU had something to do with it!"

    "Actually, I had everything to do with it." Shadow shook his head. "But I assure you, Dawn is in good hands."

    "You bastard!" Blaine growled, lunging at Shadow, as Angus restrained him with relative ease.

    "You don't have your freaky augments here boy!" Angus grit his teeth. "Now how's about you let him explain WHY you needed to die, before you blame him for everything."

    "What you're looking at is a scene from Angus' life, never before seen except by myself, Angus, and all involved."

    Typing a few keys into his keyboard, the scene around them came to life, as Blaine flinched, Edward walking through him.

    "This is some heavy shit." Angus growled, looking up from the tablet in front of him. "This is above the Ruskies or the Fascists."

    "Explain." one of the Marines walked over.

    "There's a crowd of... 'xenophobes' that is forming. Calls itself the Legion." Angus shook his head. "They want to unite the Ruskies and the Fascists, even the towel heads."

    "Xenophobes?" another one of the Marines asked. "Like, as in Alien phobes?"

    "That's preposterous!" Edward shook his head. "C'mon Angus, I think you're getting way over your head here."

    "Yeah, the leader is a guy named..." Angus' eyes opened wide, as he glared up at Edward.

    Edward smirked, before raising his Assault Rifle at the other Marines, unloading the entire clip into the three. Angus stood, Magnum pointed at Edwards face. With inhuman reflexes, Edward batted the weapon aside, holding Angus in a head lock until he passed out.

    "You should've just dropped it, dude." Edward stretched, his body shuddering from the delight of the battle.

    Accessing the tablet, Edward deleted the intel off of the tablet. Turning to face Angus, Edward grinned, before shooting himself in the kneecap with his magnum.

    "Ugh, this is Edward." he groaned. "Angus fuckin' snapped. Killed the Sarge and everyone else. I even saw him leaking data about the UEG. I was able to subdue him, but not before he shot me. Need immediate evac!"

    The scene paused, as the Angus beside Blaine's knuckles cracked.

    "He never acted like that before." Angus sighed. "-And in a flash, my best friend had become my mortal enemy."

    "What happened after this?" Blaine asked.

    "This techno mumbo jumbo doesn't show it, but I got up and ran before Edward could hand me over to the UNSC. I got my wife to an experimental cryo facility, in hopes that I could protect her. I was captured, put on trial for acts against my government, and Edward put a bullet in my head."

    Again, the scene around them morphed in colors. Blaine looked around, cocking his head as he saw his father, and his mother, standing in an office of sorts.

    "You really gotta show 'im this?" Morgan's familiar voice said from behind him. "Sorry to hear about... y'know. But it's good to see you again, boyo."

    "Yes." Shadow nodded. "If he doesn't know this stuff, he'll never understand what NEEDS to happen in the future."

    The scene around them started, showing Amber Harlowe, and his father Morgan, sitting patiently in a waiting room. Suddenly a door creaked from behind them, as a man in a very luxurious suit walked up to them.

    "As members of the Legion, you are expected to maintain the balance of Humanity's progression." the man sighed, sitting in his chair. "I did not augment you both into Spartan I's to have you continue to ally yourself with those fools in the UNSC again."

    "There ain't any aliens to fight." Morgan shook his head. "An' besides, even if there were, there sure as hell hasn't been any evidence proving they are hostile towards us."

    The man's eyes flickered red as he took a sip of his coffee. Blaine's fists clenched, as the Morgan beside him shied away shaking his head.

    "Look, I'm willing to forgive your insolence. One of my associates in ONI have suggested another... Spartan program, is in the works. Give me your son, and I will ensure he will have a future of greatness. Humanity will look up to him, they will idolize him, they will follow him and the Legion to greatness."

    "No." Amber growled, staring directly at where Blaine was standing. "I don't want his future to be in the military."

    "C-can she see me?" Blaine asked Shadow, who shook his head.

    "She had the tendency to look away from people when she talked, mostly when she was nervous." Morgan frowned. "But when you pissed her off... I don't even think your Spartan II augments could have saved you, boyo."

    "You understand that by saying that, you are ensuring he will have NO future?" the man growled, clenching his fists on the desk.

    "We'll take that chance." Amber stood up. "He won't be your mascot, you cannot have my child!"

    "I will NOT be defied, Mrs. Harlowe!" the man's eyes flared again, as Morgan socked him in the cheek.

    "Don't underestimate us Harlowe's, you worthless bag o' shit." Morgan sneered. "We take the impossible, an' kick it's arse to the curb."

    Storming out of the room, the couple left the man on the floor.

    "Harlowe.... hmmmm." the man chuckled, deciding not to pursue them. "Ha ha, haha, hahahahahahahaha!"

    "Then let him be born. I'll send a little greeting your way."

    The scene molded around them once more, showing a small house in New Alexandria, on Reach. Morgan was frozen, halfway out the door to his house, with what appeared to be newborn Blaine in his arms. Amber was beside him, a Magnum in her hands.

    Surrounding them, men in kevlar approached the house. Looking at them for a moment, Blaine recognized the insignia on their shoulders. These weren't marks of the Insurrection, they were the marks of the Legion. His eyes opened with horror, as he realized what was happening.

    The scene resumed, the Morgan beside him bowing his head. The Morgan from the scene sprinted forward, a Magnum in his spare hand firing into the nearest soldier approaching them. Amber turned like lightning, firing salvos of bullets, her rounds hitting all of her targets in the head.

    Blaine winced as a light glared into his eyes, Amber seemed to notice it too, shoving Morgan enough to move out of the way, but not knock him over. Blaine's eyes widened as a sniper round pierced through his mother's chest, knocking her off of her feet. Raising her Magnum, she focused all of her energy, firing one last shot. Blaine watched in the distance, his hawk vision could make out the Sniper grabbing his face, before toppling over.

    Morgan stopped, turning to look at her, as she nodded her head towards the encroaching Pelican.

    "Save our son." she shook her head with a tear. "Stop the Legion."

    The scene melted away once more, leaving the four men in a endless white area.

    "Why did you show me this?" Blaine asked, before staring at Morgan. "Why didn't you ever tell me you were a Legionaire?"

    "Do not blame your father." Shadow shook his head. "There is a reason he told you not to make the same mistakes he did. He understood what they did was wrong."

    "We joined the Legion, because the pay was better, an' we thought we could give you the life we always dreamed of. One without being in the military." Morgan sighed. "The UNSC didn't hold a grudge on us, because we occasionally took the missions they didn't want."

    "So I had to die for you to show me this?" Blaine growled, glaring at Shadow. "I had to leave Dawn... ALONE, to see this?"

    "There is more." Shadow returned the look. "Drake died, Blaine. But he got his own personal... 'heaven'. So even if I wanted to give you Goldenheart's power at it's fullest, I couldn't."

    "What the fuck does he have to do with this?" Blaine shook his head.

    "Because Goldenheart isn't just a person, it's a trait." Shadow nodded his head towards Angus and Morgan. "I know you got taught Biology in Spartan Boot Camp. What do traits usually do?"

    "They... get passed down." Blaine nodded, looking at Angus and Morgan.

    "Both of them, vessels for Goldenheart... the person." Shadow grinned. "It's unfortunate you had to die. But now that you know the truth behind why you died as these two did, you can fulfill your mother's wish and break the cycle."

    "Still, we're in heaven." Blaine shook his head. "What the hell good is Goldenheart going to do here?"

    "Foolish boy." Shadow's eyes flickered, twirling a pen in his hand. "Don't you know who you're talking to?"


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 3rd 2015, 11:34 pm

    August 27th, 2569
    Nine years after Blaine's Death

    Dawn stood in the dark courtyard, fire swirling from the buildings around her. Her gaze fell to the ground, as tears rolled down her cheeks. It had been in this place, nine years ago, where her father had fought Walter A. Law to save her from him.

    "Heya kiddo." she heard a voice say from behind her.

    Turning around, tears continued to well in her eyes as a man walked towards her, a smile on his face. Wrapping his arms around her, she only shuddered more, before burying her head into his chest, sobbing uncontrollably.

    "Why're you cryin' angel?" Blaine asked her. "It's your birthday, you should be happy! My little girl's growin' up!"

    "I-I miss you." she cried. "Dad... why'd you have to leave?"

    "I never left you, kiddo." Blaine smiled, placing a hand under her chin. "I've been here with you, and I always will be. An' if you ever need my help, all you have to do is call for me."

    "I wouldn't give the girl false hope." a sinister voice appeared behind Blaine. "A lot you accomplished the last time you tried to help her."

    "I stopped you from indoctrinating her, that's more than enough." Blaine growled.

    "Silence whelp." the voice grumbled in the dark, as blood started pouring out of Blaine's mouth. "Know your place. The girl is next."

    ////////////////////////////////////////

    Dawn jolted awake with a scream, before she shook her head. Looking out the window, Sanghelio's twin suns had started cresting over the horizon. Frowning, she clutched the pillow behind her head and began to sob into it.

    The door to her room opened in a hurry, as Darryl stood there, shotgun at the ready, a stern look on his face. Upon realizing there was no threat, he frowned as he walked over towards her, sitting on the corner of her bed.

    "Heya Dawn." he said, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. "Why're you crying?"

    "I was dreaming about Dad last night." Dawn's eyes cast to the floor, as she sobbed a few more times. "He wished me a Happy Birthday... b-but then War..."

    Darryl nodded in understanding, she was reliving the day Blaine had died. Pulling his niece in for a hug, her breathing slowly began to steady, as Naomi and David walked in.

    "Dawn! You okay?" David said.

    "She's fine." Darryl nodded. "She had a bad dream, involving... y'know."

    David nodded, as Naomi frowned, walking over. Giving her adopted sister a tight hug, Naomi ran a hand along Dawn's forehead.

    "It's alright sis." Naomi smiled. "I'm sure him and mom are looking down, watching over you all the time. Whatever you're scared of, we won't let it get you."

    "I'm not scared." Dawn shook her head, releasing the pillow. "I just miss them."

    "We all do." David nodded curtly. "Other Spartans on the Infinity are always tellin' stories about the old man. That's the only thing I can suggest, think of the good things he brought you. Don't be sad he's gone, be happy that him and mom are together, and that he's always watching over you."

    "I apologize for walking in uninvited." Thel 'Vadam's notorious voice said from the doorway. "But this matter is very important. I need to speak with the Lieutenant and the Sergeant."

    "If it's important enough you need two Harlowe's, it's important enough for all of us." Darryl nodded curtly. "I apologize if I'm being rude, Arbiter. But Dawn has just as much right to know as anyone else here. She is Blaine's daughter, after all."

    "So be it." the Arbiter nodded. "I have received word from Lord Hood. Your ship, the Infinity, was able to pick up transmissions from our foes."

    "What kinds of transmissions?" Darryl asked.

    "That's where it gets interesting, Spartan." Thel clicked his mandibles. "It was a message, sent from someone high in the Legion... to a 'Harlowe'. I had always figured that was your keep name, Spartan, so I thought it was addressed to you."

    "Do you have the transmission?" Darryl asked, the Arbiter nodding, tapping a button on the tablet in his hands.

    "I must be brief. You don't know who I am, but I know you. Years ago, Walter A. Law killed Blaine Harlowe. I always considered him an acquaintance, as I've run several Ops with him.

    They don't monitor this channel, so this message will be on repeat until you have received this. War is planning to assault Sanghelios, and with the new number of Legionaries being added every day by force... I fear your days are numbered.

    You can thank John for hinting me on this, I want to help you. I follow the Legion's beliefs, but I don't believe genocide is the answer, and I'm certainly against what he did with the Admiral. The Legion's new headquarters is located in London, England. Understand that while I am your ally, I must maintain my cover until the time is right.

    Good luck."


    Dawn's eyes stared at the distant wall, as she clenched her fist tightly. Her armor, which Darryl had modified from Blaine's old Mjolnr, sat on a rig in the corner. Standing quickly, she reached for the Helioskrill helmet, staring into it's red visor.

    All present in the room looked at her, as she turned to face them, her gaze leaving the helmet.

    "What are you doing?" Darryl asked, as the girl smirked like her father used to.

    "I'm preparing... for War."


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 4th 2015, 1:41 am

    One day later
    UNSC Infinity

    "Admiral Lasky, I want you to prepare the crew for full on defense against Legionary attacks on Sanghelios. We're all that remains of the old UNSC, and I want our last stand to be symbolic." Hood grunted.

    "That's won't be necessary sir." Darryl smirked, walking into the room with a crisp salute, followed by several other Spartans. "Permission to unclip the Aura, sir?"

    "For what purpose, Lieutenant?" Hood asked.

    "We found Walter A. Law, Mr. Hood." Dawn said from behind her helmet.

    "Who is that?" Hood asked, as Lasky smiled.

    "It's his daughter, sir."

    "The Lieutenant's?" Hood asked.

    "No sir." Lasky shook his head. "Blaine's, sir."

    Hood's eyes opened wide as he turned to face the disguised Spartan.

    "You expect me to allow Blaine's daughter, and a few other Spartans, to take on an entire MILITARY?" Hood asked, turning to Darryl.

    "With all due respect sir, we're not just any regular Spartans." Darryl shook his head. "We're Harlowe's. We take the impossible, and kick it's ass to the curb."

    "I'm sorry." Hood shook his head. "I cannot, in good faith, risk one of our few remaining ships for an impossible op."

    "You said the same thing to Blaine and the Chief years ago." Darryl shrugged. "Remember how that worked out?"

    "Are you really adamant about doing this, kid?" Hood asked Dawn. "If you go, I can't promise you'll be safe."

    "Mister Hood. I have to try." she nodded. "It's what Dad would've done."

    Hood shook his head in disbelief, as he began to pace back and forth. Placing a hand on his forehead, he began to rub the bridge of his nose.

    "With all due respect sir, whether or not they go, our chances aren't that great on the defensive." Lasky shook his head. "But if we catch Walter off guard, we might have a chance on the offensive. I suggest we go all out on this one."

    "The Admiral is right." the Arbiter stepped forward. "It would be more symbolic to your hidden supporters if you gave it your all, instead of reserving yourself like scared rodents."

    "Holy Arbiter." Anch I'bort bowed, approaching. "I wish to leave my post."

    "For what, Nobleman?" the Arbiter asked.

    "If the Warrior-kin is going, I must go with her. Her father saved my life once, and I am shamed that I never got the honor of saving his. But I can offer my sword, and show these mongrels the errors or their ways."

    "Then so be it." the Arbiter nodded. "Admiral Hood, I will rally whatever forces and ships I can muster. If you go, and you are unsuccessful, the Sangheili race will at least know of your sacrifice to keep our species safe.

    "This goes against everything I've ever been taught." Hood sighed, shaking his head once more. "But I'm on the verge of retirement, and I'm getting to old to care anyways. You have the greenlight, Spartans. Lasky, I'll be on the sides on this one. You have complete control of this op."

    "Negative sir." Lasky shook his head, turning towards Dawn. "If she's anything like her father, it's better in her hands."

    -------------------------------------------------------
    Later that day

    "I want a report, General." Walter swirled the contents of his glass around in a circle. "Are your forces ready for the assault on Sanghelios, or not?"

    "I would give it another day at best, sir." Manuel bowed his head. "There was some delays in upgrading our ships."

    "What kinds of delays?" War stopped for a moment, glaring at Manuel.

    "Some defector sabotaged our ships. They can lift off, but the weapons systems were totally fried." Manuel growled, clenching his fists. "I dealt with them, swiftly. But it set us back a ways."

    "So be it." Walter sighed. "The UNSC doesn't know our location, so we have all the time we need. Perhaps they can stew on their fear a while longer."

    "You may want to reconsider that, Walt." Soren growled, peering out the window. "We might not be that secret after all."

    "What do you mean?" Walter asked, turning to face the Spartan II.

    "I mean, a single Spartan is approaching our front door, and they don't look friendly. -And it looks like your old friend."

    "Friend?" Manuel asked, as Walter's fist clenched around the whiskey glass, shattering it.

    "No, that bastard died." War glared at thin air for a time. "I KILLED HIM!"

    "Apparently not." Soren shrugged, as Walter brushed past him onto the balcony.

    "Hold your fire!" Walter's voice boomed through the courtyard, as the perimeter defense units stopped themselves.

    The lone Spartan stood in front of the double doors, glancing up at him. Sure enough, the armor on the Spartan was extremely similar to that of the armor Blaine Harlowe had worn the night Walter killed him.

    "Spartan, identify yourself!" Walter demanded. "Who are you?!"

    "Who am I?" a feminine voice echoed back, surprising War. "I am just an orphaned girl, dreaming of a better future."

    "You thought you killed just one girl's father that night, Nine years ago?" her voice continued. "Try a couple HUNDRED!"

    Before Walter's eyes, a vast wave of Spartan IVs behind the once thought lone Spartan uncloaked themselves. Three of which, joined the leader by her side.

    "Not only was the man you killed a father, he was also friends to many!" she continued, as Blade Raptor, Jensen, Vance, John B-694, Lucy, Maura, Darryl, Phil, Josh, and even Kayap uncloaked, standing beside Dawn. "But not only that, Blaine Harlowe was an inspiration to thousands!"

    As with the Spartan IVs, entire battalions of Marines and ODSTs uncloaked themselves, donning T.I.T.A.N exoskeletons.

    "Of course, he was also known as a Hero to MILLIONS!" the girl's voice boomed throughout the courtyard, as the UNSC Infinity itself uncloaked in the skies behind the mass of soldiers. "You want to know who we are?! We are Blaine Harlowe's LEGACY!"

    At that audio cue, a mass of energy formed on the front of the Infinity, blasting a massive hole in the front doors. The UNSC military pouring through the door, their sheer numbers enough to obliterate the perimeter watch with ease.

    "Death, Pestilence." War's eyes glowed red. "Stop our guests from reaching me."

    "While you do what?" Death snapped. "Run like a whiny bitch?!"

    "WAR NEVER RUNS!" Walter growled. "But I can prepare my final weapon. Come Manuel, it is time for you and I to summon Farius once more."

    "Negative." Manuel growled, firing a round point blank into Soren's face. "Blaine was my friend, and I overheard what you said about my father."

    "So unfortunate." Walter shook his head, before a blast of energy smashed Manuel in the chest, launching him out the window. "When I'm through with these fools, I'll execute you PERSONALLY!"

    "Well that's great." Death scoffed. "So much for your pal Farius, genius."

    "I don't even need Farius." War growled. "All I need is to concentrate all of my power, and that little girl and her army will topple. NOW GO!"

    ////////////////////////////////////

    Dawn walked forward, as the Spartans, Marines, and ODSTs poured through the open door, fighting the Legionaires on their turf. Unfazed by the warfare happening around her, she walked over towards the wounded man on the floor.

    "Who are you?" she asked, as he scoffed.

    "Just an orphaned boy, whose going to help you get that future you dream of." Manuel grunted, as she offered a hand.

    John, Lucy, and Maura ran over, raising their weapons at Manuel. John paused for a moment, before motioning for them to lower their weapons.

    "It's Manny." John confirmed. "C'mon then, clear a path to War!"

    Blade Raptor chuckled, as Allison joined him by his side.

    "That's where I come in, John." cracking his knuckles, the Spartan II stomped forward, flipping a T.I.T.A.N garbed Legionaire over his head. "MOVE FORWARD!"

    Suddenly, a suited man in a more advanced Exoskeleton landed before them. Blade clenched his fist, as the pale man stood upright, ready to fight.

    "Hiya Death, ol' buddy." Raptor grinned. "You ready for an awesomesauce ass kicking?"

    "Ugh, you of all people?" Death sighed. "This'll be for all of those games of... 'Death Ball' or whatever."

    "I'll make you eat those words, with a side of hybrid pie."

    "What the heck is-" Dawn started, as John shushed her, escorting her forward.

    "Don't worry about me guys." Blade smirked beneath his helmet. "I'll take care of this bozo, just keep going!"

    "We didn't!" John yelled back, as they continued to move forward, as yet another man in a more advanced exoskeleton dropped down.

    "Move aside." Naomi said darkly, working her way forward. "I'll deal with this guy."

    "Oh ja?" Pestilence mused, circling the Spartan IV. "How precious. Das freulien sinks she can take on ZE Pestilence?"

    "I'm a Combat Medic." Naomi smirked. "I fight Pestilence all the time."

    "Yeah?!" yet another executive dropped down. "Can you take two of us? Scrumptious? The new and improved Famine joins the fray!"

    "You that hungry asshole?" David stood beside his wife. "I'll force feed you a fucking KNUCKLE SANDWHICH!"

    An explosion went off beside Dawn, Lucy, John, and Maura, knocking them all aside. Standing, a band of Scorpion tanks aimed at them, one of their barrels smoking. The other five recoiled as their shells raced towards them. Dawn's eyes opened wide as she raised her hands in front of her.

    Five explosions recoiled throughout the courtyard, dust kicking into the air. Dawn's eyes opened, as Darryl pumped another round into his shotgun, a bubble shield surrounding the group of them. Beside him, four other Spartan IIs turned.

    "You're 115's kid?" one of the Spartans asked. "Don't worry kiddo, the Spartans of Blue Team owe your old man a favor. We'll deal with this."

    John-117, Fred-104. Kelly-087, Linda-058, and Darryl-116 crouched on their haunches, before sprinting headlong at the Scorpion tanks. Dawn stared in amazement as Linda's sniper fired, the round traveling into one of the barrels of one of the Scorpions, blowing the next shell up before it departed, destroying the tank in it's entirety.

    "We don't have time to watch the fireworks, just trust they'll get it done!" John ushered her along. "Get inside, we'll cover you!"

    "That won't be necessary." Walter's familiar voice said from the front doorway. "What kind of embodiment of War would I be if I didn't tackle my problems head on?"

    In a flash, the man was on top of Dawn. Swinging a massive punch into her torso, she bounced along the ground, smashing into the far wall. Sobbing, she attempted to stand, but he was already there. Smashing his boot into her ribcage, he continued to do so for a time, before wrapping his hand around her throat, squeezing.

    "You are foolish, just as he was." Walter sneered. "His bravado was inevitably his downfall, and you would have been wiser being the house wench you DESERVE to be."

    "Da...addy." was all Dawn could muster, her life being squeezed out of her.

    "GET!" the ground beneath their feet quaked, as all eyes turned on Death, whose eyes glowed gold for a moment.

    "YOUR FILTHY HANDS!" Death roared, before his body exploded completely.

    An entity appeared there, glowing a brilliant golden hue. Many of the UNSC cheered as they recognized the person standing there. Dawn coughed as War's grip got tighter, she wasn't sure if it was the lack of oxygen, but she thought she had seen her father there.

    "OFF MY DAUGHTER!" Blaine roared, charging forward, smashing Walter in the jaw.

    Walter roared in pain as he bounced along the ground, through the far wall, and into the opposite courtyard. Dawn fell to her knees, coughing as she regained her breath.

    "That helmet." she heard the figure say. "It's a good look, angel. Better on you then it ever was on me."

    Her eyes widened as she looked up, Blaine standing there. His goatee glowed gold, along with his short, well trimmed hair and his eyes. Smiling, he offered her a hand, as she took it, hugging him.

    "Daddy." she sobbed.

    "Don't cry, angel." Blaine shushed her. "I thought I told you I was always there for you?"

    "Please, help us." Dawn asked, as Blaine shook his head.

    "I can't stay long." Blaine frowned, his right hand already dissolving into golden dust. "I'm just here to let you in on a family secret. You wanna beat Walter? Think about your Mom and I. We're always watching over you, and if you think that, we'll help you however we can. Love you, Dawn. Never forget that."

    As soon as he arrived, however, Blaine disappeared in a veil of golden light, leaving Dawn to herself.

    "He was always a coward." War chuckled, stumbling through the hole in the wall. "Always had someone else fighting his battles for him."

    "WHAT?!" Walter yelled to the skies. "THROW A PUNCH AND THEN RUN BACK TO YOUR MASTER?! GOLDENHEART DIED WITH YOU!"

    "No." Dawn shook her head. "You don't remember the legend do you? My dad always told me it when I was little."

    "While Goldenheart was out making nice with other clans, Farius' top assassin killed his wife in cold blood. Sound familiar?"

    Walter's eyes opened wide, Butch had quickly rose in the ranks of his hired assassins, and he had killed Blaine's wife while Blaine was supposedly out fixing his own reputation.

    "But his daughter was spared. In fact, she was brought to Farius, where she was given the tools to fight against her father, the Demon attempting to brain wash her. But the Demon overlooked a single fact."

    "Goldenheart isn't a WHO! He's a trait, a way of LIFE!" Dawn rose to her feet, slowly walking towards War, as a golden aura began radiating off of her. "Goldenheart's daughter watched her father slowly die from his heartbreak. Raised by her Uncle in foreign lands, she returned to the place where it had all taken place.

    As she walked towards him, golden light began to form a pair of wings behind her.

    "When Angel Flannigan returned to Scotland, she was revered as the Archangel of Peace. Where her father had the fatal flaw of an easily damaged heart, her resolve would never falter."

    "She found Farius, battered and beaten from his last encounter with her Father." Dawn stood before him, albeit a head beneath Walter. "Surrounded by Goldenheart's most trusted friends, relatives, and allys, she launched an assault."

    "Do you know what she did?" Dawn asked, as Walter stood there, petrified by the teenager standing before him.

    Appearing behind Dawn, a ghost form of Blaine, Autumn, Angus, Amber, and Morgan Harlowe appeared. In unison, the ghosts and the teenager placed their right hand on his chest, golden light forming around her hand.

    "She ripped his FUCKING heart out!" pushing in with all of her might, Walter's eyes widened as her hand grasped his heart.

    Light shone brightly through the hole in his chest, as he roared in pain, the Light billowing out of every visible orifice on Walter's body. With one last defiant roar, Walter exploded, a red wisp circled over head, rushing for Dawn.

    In one last act of desperation, Farius, in his most basic form, attempted to convert the daughter of Goldenheart to the ways of chaos. But a single hand lashed out, stopping the darkest evil from accomplishing it's task.

    Blaine's ghost stood there, glaring angrily at the red cloud in front of him.

    Together, with the light of her dead father's soul. Angel Flannigan purged the Demon from this realm of existence.

    "I-Impossible!" War, in his most basic form, stammered. "I am all that is chaos!"

    "You don't listen very good, do you boyo?" Dawn asked, as she nodded to her father's soul. "Us Harlowe's? We take the impossible, and kick it's ass to the curb!"

    Holding her hand out in front of her, the wings on her back dissolved, joining the small orb of golden energy in front of her. Blaine's ghost hand appeared behind hers, his other hand keeping War still.

    Firing the beam of energy, the red cloud evaporated into nothing, never to exist again. The ghosts behind her slowly faded away, as Blaine and Autumn's hands touched her shoulders, fading as the others did before them.

    Falling to her knees, Dawn's vision slowly began to fade, as everything turned black.


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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 4th 2015, 1:52 am

    Author's Notes: So... we've reached the end of what I hope has been one of the most intense, and shortest Blaine Harlowe stories I have ever written.

    I know it seems a bit rushed, but hopefully, what I'm about to announce will make you understand why.

    For the first time in one of my stories, I'm leaving the ending as a reader's choice. Both endings are canon, but it's up to you the reader to decide which one is the canon YOU'D like to see. Both endings will be in the next post, but will be hidden in spoiler tags in case you decide not to read the other one that you didn't choose.



    Last edited by Shad0wChas3r on April 4th 2015, 4:05 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 4th 2015, 2:51 am

    A Heroe's Legacy:

    June 30th, 2583

    The light flickered for a moment more, as the teacher opened the blinds once more, turning the lights back on in the room. To her surprise, not a single one of her students had slept during the entire presentation. Glancing at the teacher, a couple of the students wiped their eyes.

    "Wow." one of the students, Boris, shook his head. "He seemed really nice."

    There was a loud ringing noise in her ears, as the school day officially ended.

    "The lesson is over, enjoy your summer kiddos." she smiled.

    To her surprise, however, not one of the kids move from their seat, all eyes on her.

    "Teacher?" one of the girls rose her hand. "We never caught your name... who are you?"

    Reaching towards her desk for a brown paper bag, the Teacher's eyes closed for a second, as she smiled warmly.

    "Who am I?" she asked gently, her eyes opening, glowing gold for a second. "I'm just the daughter of a little orphaned boy."

    Taking her leave, the teacher stepped out into the hallway, as the kids looked around.

    "She sure was a cool substitute." Boris said, resting his arms behind her head. "Wonder who she was."

    "Isn't it obvious?!" Dorothy, the class' highest achiever, scoffed. "She's Dawn, from the video! How else do you think she knew all this?"

    "Woah, really?!" another student sat up quickly. "That's so cool!"

    "Hey guys." one of the other students said, peering out the window. "Teach is walking towards the statue. She looks really sad."

    /////////////////////////

    Dawn frowned as she slowly approached the statue, built five years back, in honor of Blaine Harlowe. The golden hearted Guardian of Reach.

    "Hi Dad." she frowned, as tears began to stream down her cheeks.

    An uneasy feeling washed over her, as she sank to her knees in front of the statue. Just beside this statue was one of her mother, Autumn, labeled as Autumn Harlowe, the Voice of reason. Quivering from her grief, Dawn sobbed for a time, her eyes staring up at the Recon helmet her father wore.

    "I still miss you guys, every single day." she continued to cry. "It's been a slow process, but I'm living that life you wanted me to."

    The sunshine glimmered off of his helmet, shining into her eyes for a moment, as her gaze fell back down to the ground. Reaching into the brown paper bag, she produced a ratty, worn down old rabbit doll. In it's age, it was now missing an eye, the repairs on it's neck were coming undone, and much of it's stuffing was now completely gone.

    "I brought you our good friend, Pvt. Fluffykins." her lip quivered as she placed the rabbit at the base of the statue. "I know he'll keep you guys in good company."

    "Don't cry, Ms. Harlowe." she heard one of the student say from behind her. "Be happy."

    Turning, Dorothy stood there, along with all of the other students in her temporary class. All of the students walked over, wrapping their arms around their substitute teacher.

    "We're children." Dorothy smiled. "-And thanks to your Dad, we have a better future. We are his Legacy."

    Dawn nodded, before smiling at her classes' support. Birds chirped in the background, as the sound of elementary school children at play filled the air.

    -------------------------------------------

    Epilogue

    "Alright, whose deal?" Fluffykins smirked, as the elderly scotsman beside him groused.

    "Remind me why the fuck a rabbit is at the poker table?"

    "This... is poker?" Angus shook his head. "I thought it was pinochle."

    "Alright barot, I'm dealing." Jorge grinned.

    "I don't know if I appreciate the big man handing out the cards." Josh shook his head.

    "Be fair, Josh." Phil shook his head.

    "You goons still bicker, even in the afterlife?" Amber chuckled. "Well c'mon hun. Help me play poker!"

    Blaine shook his head with a smirk, as his friends continued to bicker at the Poker table. Standing in the void, Autumn at his side, the two glanced through the floor. There, they could make out their little girl on her knees, a class full of students comforting her.

    "I feel so bad." Autumn shook her head. "Knowing I can't be there for her."

    "But we are there for her." Blaine smiled with a nod. "You're right, I miss my little angel. Though I know we'll see her again."

    "Curse this foolish game, what does four 'K's mean?" Anch I'Bort asked, causing groans from the entire table.

    "I fold."

    "I'm with Phil, fucking christ." Josh shook his head.

    "Szuka." Jorge hissed.

    "Dammit." Angus sighed.

    "Did I lose hun?" Amber asked Morgan.

    "Damn fucking split lips and their god-like poker faces." Morgan growled, slamming his cards on the table. "I fold."

    "I'm all in." Fluffykins grinned.

    "FLUFFYKINS!" Morgan roared. "You no good, cheating fucking rodent! I saw you slip that Ace into your goddamn gimpy ear!"

    "Tell me?" Craig shook his head. "Did I press up on the elevator button, or down?"

    "Both." Blaine chuckled, before looking one last time at Dawn on earth. "Hey pops, deal us in!"

    "Sure, hassenpfeffer is banned from this table though." Morgan growled. "Don't tempt me rabbit, I'll rip yer fecking stuffin' out."

    I figured a little humor in the epilogue for this ending would bring back the nostalgia bug.

    Not that it really matters, but I made this image specfically with this ending in mind:



    If you choose to read the other Ending, be my guest. But again, thank you for reading and following along.

    Dark before Dawn:


    Blaine's eyes shot awake, as he jolted himself upright. Glancing around the darkened room, he sighed briefly. It had all been a dream. Thinking about it for a moment, he peered around the room, realizing he was back in Spartan Boot Camp.

    "Blaine, you awake?" Jorge asked from the top bunk.

    "Uh, yeah." Blaine stammered, before looking up. "What's up barot?"

    "You okay, you were tossing and turning down there. Don't tell me today's gotten you this down?"

    "No." Blaine shook his head. "I had a really good dream, actually."

    "Huh." Jorge mused.

    "Jorge?"

    "Yeah?"

    "Where is Butch?"

    Looking down on his lap, Blaine didn't remember having a letter among his personal effects. Having opened it, he smiled at the phrase written on it.

    "Why do you want to know? He's not a nice guy."

    "Trust me, I need to know." Blaine asked.

    "He's on the other side of the room." Katie whispered beside him, as Blaine's heart dropped. "I think he has the potential to be a great guy, he's just nervous."

    "Yeah." Blaine nodded. "I was thinking that same thing."

    Standing quietly from his bed, Blaine slowly walked through the room to avoid waking any of his remaining Spartan brethren. Each step he took, each face he recognized, his heart skipped a beat. He knew the fate of each and every one of them.

    Walking up to Butch's bed, however, Blaine realized why exactly Butch had been so angry. His tag, at the foot of the ratty cot, was his full name: Butch Harold Mendez. Blaine's eyes opened wide, as he realized that their drill sergeant had even put his own son into the program. Butch's parents weren't killed by his flash clone, he disowned them for placing him here.

    "What do you want, goody goody?" Butch groaned in his sleep.

    "I know you've got a crush on Katie." Blaine nodded. "You don't have to worry about me getting in your way. In fact... I wanted to know if you'd be friends?"

    Butch sat up for a second, wiping the sleep from his eyes. Shaking his head, he looked Blaine in the eyes, saw the sincerity in them, and smiled.

    "You really mean it?"

    "Yep." Blaine grinned. "No-one should be alone."

    "Cool." Butch smiled, before shifting his eyes back and forth. "Say, you across from her. Maybe you can help me out?"

    "Sure. Just stop faking it. Be yourself, the REAL Butch, not the tough guy." Blaine nodded.

    "Alright." Butch sighed, laying back on his cot. "See you tomorrow."

    Blaine nodded with a beaming smile, as he walked back to his cot. Katie smiled at Blaine, nodding her head in approval, as Blaine laid there on the cot, he could hear Jorge shuffling above him.

    "Hey Blaine?" Jorge asked, as Blaine looked up from the letter once more.

    "Yeah Jorge?"

    "What do you think the future will bring us?" Jorge asked.

    Blaine chuckled to himself a moment, closing his eyes. He remembered everything he had lived through; S.C.O.R.E, Reach, Mombasa, Autumn, the battle of the Ark, Requiem... Dawn.

    "I dunno." he finished, as he opened his eyes, they glowed gold for just a second. "But I bet it'll be bigger than we can even imagine."

    Holding the letter up, Blaine smiled at the phrase one last time with a curt nod.

    Don't make the same mistakes, boyo.
    -Morgan...


    ------------------------------------------------

    Epilogue:

    Well, I bet you weren't expecting me to narrate this final bit to this story. But if I didn't, it'd feel really awkward typing it. Also, because I'm sure you don't want me going ALL the way back through the stories, I'll give you the rundown.

    Because Blaine made nice with Butch, their time in Boot Camp was much easier for everyone. Regrettably Rochelle, even though she wasn't killed by Butch, she later died in a combat situation against Insurrectionist forces.

    Due to the friendly rivalry between themselves, Blaine, Butch, and Jorge were chosen to join S.C.O.R.E. Blaine and Butch having been assigned to the same squad. Butch missed Katie dearly, but Blaine assured him they would see her again.

    Flash forward to Reach, without Butch to screw up the UNSC's radio transmissions, Thel Vadamee's fleet *i.e Anch I'Bortee and his team* took out Visegrad. Instead, with Butch helping Blaine and the other squad members in S.C.O.R.E, they were able to save Gaspar and his older brother Janos from one of Anch's Zealots.

    When the Spartan IIs requested assistance with the Generator defense, Butch and Blaine attended. After the battle, the two were able to convince Katie to join them, therefore saving her the death she would have faced.

    As things became more bleak for the UNSC *Blaine's warnings of a massive fleet fell on deaf ears*, Operation Uppercut gained another member. With Butch helping Jorge defend the Pelican holding the slip-space bomb, the Pelican was spared of it's damage, and the bomb was detonated without sacrifice.

    Escorting them to New Alexandria, the three Spartan IIs all but destroyed the Invasion force, saving several thousand more lives than Blaine had accomplished on his own. Unfortunately, Anch was still able to kill Kat, which resulted in the later deaths of Carter and Emile, regardless of Jorge's condition.

    With the package in tow, the remaining members of Noble Team were successful in delivering Cortana to Captain Keyes. While Emile died, Blaine opted to get on the gun, with Darryl beside him. Again they spared Anch, who fled due to the odds.

    When the Autumn left, Blaine convinced Butch, Darryl, and Jorge to stay around. The four Spartan IIs fought the survivors of the Super Carrier's destruction long enough for Morgan, Phil, Josh, Gaspar, Janos and Scott to arrive and extract them without incident.

    Flash forward again to Delta Halo *Halo 2's ring*, when the Flood ambushes Blaine's team, with the addition of Janos, Butch, and Jorge, Gaspar is spared. The team is still captured, unfortunately, as Blaine is abducted by the Gravemind. But they are all saved in time.

    During the battle of the Ark, with Jorge and Butch present, Morgan was Blaine's co-pilot in the Pelican when the two Scarabs landed. Due to this, he was not sniped by a spiker rifle, and lived on to fight another day. Regrettably, Gaspar and Janos did die helping Johnson get to the third Generator.

    Because Butch was never evil, War had no real disciples to help him bring Farius back. Blaine, knowledged with how to summon Goldenheart, destroyed War before he could even really begin any of the plot to this story.

    With no Walter messing with the balance of things, Blaine, Hood, and the Arbiter were able to broker indefinite peace treaties between the Sanghieli people and Humans. It was not long after that Jiralhanae and Unggoy people joined the Galactic treaty as well.

    Eventually Hood retired, but not before giving Blaine his position as head of the entire UNSC Military. As there was no real wars to worry about, Blaine took the role as a formality, spending the majority of his time with his children; David, Naomi, Ben, and Dawn.

    /////////////////////////////////////////////

    "Woah." Boris nodded. "That was awesome teacher! Did you know Lord Harlowe?!"

    "Did she know me?" a man's stern voice echoed in the room, before bellowing laughter echoed. "Of course she did! She's my daughter!"

    Dawn turned with a smile, as Blaine stood there in his dress uniform, beaming from ear to ear. Walking over, he gave her a hug, before turning to the class.

    "Dawn did an excellent report on my history." he nodded to the children. "If you have any questions, I have time for one."

    "What is hybrid pie?" one kid asked, as Blaine began to bellow with laughter.

    "That? That's a different story on it's own." he chuckled, before reaching into his wallet. "It's been quite a while, sweetheart. But I figured it'd be a nice gift to put on your new desk."

    Handing over the photo, Dawn beamed as she wrapped her arms around her dad.

    "Thanks Dad." she said, as the two of them glanced at the picture.

    http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

    If I'm being totally honest, I think this is my favorite of the two endings. But like I said before, both are equally canon, and it's up to YOU the reader to decide.

    If you're confused by this ending, the reason Blaine went back to Spartan Boot Camp, is because Goldenheart can change entire timelines, so long as I own the story behind them. The reason why Blaine was able to save Jorge is because, at one point, John and I concepted ways Jorge could survive.

    Anyways, thank you so much for reading. This story was, in my own opinion, one of the most intense ones I've ever written. In fact, I actually had a period whilst writing it that I had to take a break and go listen to some happy music, that's how down I made myself.

    Final Author's Notes *READ LAST*:

    Final Author's Notes: Whether you read both of these endings or just one of them. I cannot thank you enough for reading them. Like I said earlier, I'm very happy that my own Noble Six has evolved this much that he's become his own separate entity.

    I've tried for the past four/five years to make an ending for him that I felt was befitting of my very first character, and I think either one of these accomplishes that. One of the endings took a blast from the past and brought humor to an otherwise emotional ending. The other took what could have been emotional and flipped it.

    It is, however, with heavy heart that I announce my retirement from writing. While I never had a 'career' of it perse, I just have run entirely out of ideas. With real life and xbox taking up the majority of my time anyways, I just don't write as much as I used to. I am NOT leaving the Forums, and I will continue to read your stories.

    It's just highly unlikely that I'll be writing anything further here. I've ended Blaine's story line, Drake's story line, and Bryce's *kinda*. I'm content with what I've done.

    A very special thanks to Manny, who made himself known as a reader of my stories. I hope this was a finale you enjoyed. A special thanks as well to Impanther, for being another one of my vocal readers, just knowing you two read my stories is all I ever wanted. I'd also like to thank Bad John, because had it not been for Mettle and Metal, I never would have been inspired to change Blaine from my old writing style's variant of him, to the one you saw in this story.

    Of course, I want to thank any and all of you readers out there, lurking in the posts I've typed. But I thought those three deserved special recognition.

    With all of that said, I'm going to continue looking at the two images I put up for each ending, and reminisce on four years of my life.

    See you tomorrow.


    Last edited by Shad0wChas3r on May 17th 2015, 10:34 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Manny on April 4th 2015, 3:52 pm

    I can say I enjoyed this a lot.

    There were a few times my suspension of disbelief was stretched pretty thin. Including Golden heart and "Shadow"  kinda forced me to stop thinking of it as a Halo story. Then again, I suppose this was Blaine's story all along.

    The Legion being the big bad was somewhat odd to me. They would have been more sneaky in their bid for power. However this was your story, and your interpretation of the Legion.

    Do take pride that your endings brought lots of smiles to my face and pangs in my heart. A lot of old Database references and seeing old scenes/characters really brought it all together.

    I think my favourite one was Harlowe. Simply because Blaine is a child again and was given a second chance to make the best of his life.

    I'll miss your stories Shadow, most of all because I miss seeing them improve continously. However it's nice to know I'll have a "retired" buddy. Reason I say that is because we're both pretty busy and short on time/ideas to write.

    Not sure if this means anything but... I has a dream last night we had a big influx of new members. Hopefully we can see Database bustle once again.
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    Shad0wChas3r
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    Re: Dark before Dawn

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 4th 2015, 10:59 pm

    Manny wrote:I can say I enjoyed this a lot.

    There were a few times my suspension of disbelief was stretched pretty thin. Including Golden heart and "Shadow"  kinda forced me to stop thinking of it as a Halo story. Then again, I suppose this was Blaine's story all along.

    You are correct, the idea behind this story was actually to try and take away from the traditional Halo vibe, to perhaps give my own spin to it.

    Honestly, I could have gotten away with writing the entirety of Blaine's life separate from the Halo arch. But I wanted this to be my own vision of how the Halo Universe should have ended.

    I think Halo 5 will definitely bring some new cards to the table, but I wanted there to be other Spartans that were inspirations to the general public, and Blaine was that Spartan. Where John was saving the world behind the curtain, Blaine was doing his own thing, which was usually helping the UNSC and saving the Universe from a different sort of evil.

    The Legion being the big bad was somewhat odd to me. They would have been more sneaky in their bid for power. However this was your story, and your interpretation of the Legion.

    To be fair, it isn't the Legion that was the 'big bad' behind the story. If you recall from this story, I mentioned that Morgan Harlowe and Amber Harlowe were actually members of the Legion. They believed in Human progression, but they didn't agree with the Xenophobic tendencies.

    They could also sense that War *whomever was his host at the time* had something else up his sleeve when it came to the Legion. They knew it was sinister, and they didn't want a part of it.

    That, and he asked for their son, to use as a Pawn for this sinister act.

    Do take pride that your endings brought lots of smiles to my face and pangs in my heart. A lot of old Database references and seeing old scenes/characters really brought it all together.

    I think my favourite one was Harlowe. Simply because Blaine is a child again and was given a second chance to make the best of his life.

    I can say that I AM immensely proud of these endings. I thought it was only fitting that the cast and crew of the Database Universe came together for Blaine's story's finale. Because if I'm being totally honest, if it hadn't been for you guys, Blaine would have been one of the most stale characters there ever was.

    His evolution and growth over the past four years is entirely attributed to the support that you, John, and the other various readers gave me. Mettle and Metal set a standard for the type of character I wanted Blaine to be, and I spent that time trying to bring that back. I can honestly say I'm satisfied with my attempts.

    Originally, there was supposed to be only one ending; A Heroe's Legacy. But as I thought about it, how is it fair to the reader, or even Blaine himself, that that be the ending I choose after all this time.

    So I began concepting an alternate ending, and I found exactly how I wanted it to go down. The scene with Jorge and Blaine in Boot Camp was one of my favorites from Uprising, solely because, like Blaine, I had no idea what his future would hold.

    After that, I wondered how exactly I could make EVERYONE's future better, not just Blaine. From the get-go, Butch has always gotten the shit. He was the character that I essentially made a punching bag, he was what I used when I had a bad day, and felt like having Blaine *me* kick someone else's ass.

    Then I began to think: Why would Butch be so angry anyways, what would make him act so douchey to the others. Was he nervous around others? Was he spiteful of his parents?

    That's when I decided that he was Mendez' son, abused and placed into the Spartan program, where he would be hated by everyone, even his own father. With Katie being his only light in the dark, and with Blaine sweeping her away, he would snap. So I decided to fix that, Butch got the girl, Blaine got his way, and everyone had a good end.

    All in all, it made me immensely happy to give Blaine a more fitting end. 'Don't make the same mistakes your father did, boyo' was easily one of my favorite lines that Morgan has ever uttered. So I decided, knowing how overpowered Goldenheart was, that he should play a final role in Blaine's story, and give that line more meaning then *don't fuck up, kid*.

    Of course, I started this story with the classroom scene, and if people chose to solely read the Harlowe ending, I wanted to close it that way. I wanted to see the changes in Blaine's life, as thanks to Goldenheart's final gift to him. I wanted that final image that I painted and posted, to show how much better of a life Blaine had.

    All in all, I wanted to give YOU, the reader, a choice to decide what you thought was more fitting of an end for Blaine's saga. Which one that you thought should be your own canon. I gave YOU the power of Goldenheart, to choose the fate of Blaine. That was my most exciting part of writing this, giving my readers the choice. Just because you chose to read one first doesn't even mean that's the one you have to stick with. I just wanted to have the options on the table, and I think I did that.

    I'll even be a bit cheesy here and say that both endings actually brought a couple of tears to my eyes. Something about the finality of knowing Blaine's story is over gave me both a liberating... and emptying feel.

    I'll miss your stories Shadow, most of all because I miss seeing them improve continously. However it's nice to know I'll have a "retired" buddy. Reason I say that is because we're both pretty busy and short on time/ideas to write.

    Thank you Manuel, it honestly means a lot to know that at least someone enjoyed my stories. I did indeed write for myself, but I wanted to tell a story to people. In fact, I craved having an outside opinion, so that I knew whether I was doing it right or not.

    Although I'm 'retired', I will still gladly participate in collabs and stuff. Hell, if I find the time and inspiration, I'll still write. But by putting the pen/laptop down, I will be able to enjoy the other aspects of my life as well. I told Blaine, Drake, and Bryce's life stories, it's time I lived my own. Perhaps even with the above characters.

    Not sure if this means anything but... I had a dream last night we had a big influx of new members. Hopefully we can see Database bustle once again.

    Just an orphaned boy... dreamin' of a better future xD.

    Seriously though, that would be very nice. I do miss the good old days when we all came together, wrote our stories, commented on each other, and just had a grand old time. To have more members to add to that equation would be astronomical.

    A man can dream, anyways.

    Thanks again for reading Manuel, your support has been absolutely phenomenal and inspiring.


    _________________


    \\'Boyo\\'

    Thanks for Reading!


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    Re: Dark before Dawn

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